WEST HOLLYWOOD—The life sentence of convicted murderer Blake Leibel, 38, was upheld in California’s 2nd District Court of Appeals on Wednesday, April 29, almost four years after Leibel was taken in custody. He will remain imprisoned, without possibility of parole.
The defense claimed Leibel was unfairly convicted, given the admittance by the trial judge of evidence from “Syndrome,” the graphic novel to which Leibel contributed. The court maintained the sentence, claiming the forensic evidence was “more significant than anything in the novel,” and the defendant will continue to serve at California Correctional Institution for the remainder of his life.
In the Justices’ briefing, they stated, “evidence of defendant’s consciousness of guilt, such as lying about Kasian’s well-being and whereabouts, attempts to clean blood from various parts of the apartment, disposing of and the destruction of incriminating evidence, give rise to the compelling inference that he was Kasian’s assailant.”
Leibel was responsible for the murder of his girlfriend, Iana Kasian, in May 2016, who at the time, closely mirrored that of a character in Syndrome. The official autopsy report released in 2017 cited Kaisan’s cause of death as exsanguination and head trauma.
The victim was said to have lived eight hours after the removal of her scalp. Her body was found in their West Hollywood apartment, heavily mutilated and drained of blood. Leibel barricaded himself inside the apartment where he was later arrested. Along with first-degree murder, Leibel was given supplemental charges of torture and mayhem.