Malibu News
New Twist In Emily Shane Murder Trial
By Brianna Sacks
Aug 28, 2011 - 12:30:10 PM

MALIBU—Sina Khankhanian, 26, the man who killed 13-year-old Emily Rose Shane on Pacific Coast Highway on April 3, 2010, is filing a motion to dismiss the second-degree murder charge. Khankhanian killed Shane while driving recklessly on PCH, spinning out of control at the intersection of Heathercliff Dr., now also renamed Emily Shane Way.

The community recently honored Emily’s 15th birthday and unveiled the new street sign a few weeks prior. The Shane family had sued the state and county for negligence, as six 911 calls had been made on Khankhanian’s erratic driving, starting at Topanga Canyon. Four of the calls were made before Shane was killed.

Emily Rose Shane
Photo Courtesy of

The motion will be heard on September 8, at the Airport Courthouse in Santa Monica. Khankhanian’s attorney, Bradley Brunon, believes that Khankhanian was overcharged for the crime. “The basic argument is that there is no evidence that he intended to kill the young girl,” Brunon told Canyon News. “He was not aware of her presence, lost control of the vehicle, slid 130 feet sideways and hit her.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department suspected Khankhanian had suicidal intentions, as investigators believe that Khankhanian intentionally swerved to hit a power pole, striking Shane and then crashing into the pole.

Information released in the January 14, 2011 case shed light on Khankhanian’s mental state before and during the time of the accident. Khankhanian had also left a suicide note, check and a letter stating he wished to leave all his funds to his girlfriend at the time.

The LASD Homicide Bureau did not immediately respond to a call for comment on Khankhanian’s suicidal actions.

“Normally for second-degree murder you have to have an intentional act,” Brunon explained. Brunon believes that the proper charge should be Gross Vehicular Manslaughter, which is an “act that is dangerous to the life of others, but not consciously aware. “The DA is taking a particularly aggressive stance on this case,” said Brunon. “It was grossly negligent driving, but there is not enough evidence for murder.”

Canyon News reached out to Emily Rose Shane’s family, but did not hear back by press time.

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