Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Blake Leibel could face death penalty for gruesome murder

Blake Leibel is accused of torturing, disfiguring and ultimately killing his girlfriend in their West Hollywood apartment last week and could be put to death by the state of California if convicted because of the gruesome nature of his alleged crime.

The graphic novelist, screenwriter and son of a prominent Toronto developer, pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated murder, mayhem, aggravated mayhem and torture yesterday. His alleged victim: Iana Kasian, his live-in girlfriend and mother of his newborn child. Prosecutors say Leibel tortured and mutilated Kasian before killing her, then draining the blood from her body.
“A decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made at a later date,” a release said. California last executed a prisoner in 2006. The accused wore a sleeveless padded suicide jacket during his brief court appearance in Los Angeles. Leibel is the son of Toronto-area businessman Lorne Leibel, the owner of Touchstone Homes.
A week before Kasian's body was found, Leibel was arrested on a sex-assault charge.
30-year-old Iana Kasian “sustained blunt force trauma to her head.” Leibel had barricaded himself in the West Hollywood apartment and placed furniture and bedding to prevent police from entering. Police forced their way through and arrested the 35-year-old without incident.

Kasian had just given birth four weeks ago. Court documents related to his mother’s will reveal Blake Leibel’s life in L.A. was entirely financially supported by both his parents. Blake Leibel lived a privileged, lavish lifestyle marked by contentious disputes with his family over money.