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LA Times: “Prosecutors reveal payments to suspect in model’s killing”

Update: June 28, 2010, 8:38am PST / The Los Angeles Times has just published the following correction:

Model’s slaying: An article in Saturday’s LATExtra section about the case against a woman accused of killing Juliana Redding said that Dr. Munir Uwaydah, whom prosecutors identified as the suspect’s employer, had been convicted in an unrelated fraud case. That case was a civil matter, not a criminal one, and Uwaydah was “adjudged to have committed fraud,” according to California Medical Board records. –Los Angeles Times

Updated at 2:51pm PST, June 26, 2010

VIDEO

The story hit the Los Angeles Times website around midnight. An eye-opening report wherein we learned that prosecutors in the Juliana Redding murder case  believe that the prime suspect received “hundreds of thousands of dollars from a troubled physician who was in a foundering business deal with the victim’s father.”

That opening revelation alone—I’d contend–goes well beyond the LA Time’s characterization of the case taking an “intriguing turn.”  In fact, largely armed with a motion filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday, the newspaper unleashed one sizable chunk of new information after another.

Many of the details included in the LA Time’s story are addressed in a Beyond90Seconds.com special video report here.  Still, be sure to read the full story on the newspaper’s website.  After two years of relative silence on this case, it’s a must read. It includes the following:

“Redding’s father, Greg Redding, was ‘involved in a business negotiation with Dr. Uwaydah that fell apart…five days before the murder charged in this case,’ Santa Monica Det. Karen Thompson, the investigating officer in the case, wrote in the bail motion.”

-Los Angeles Times

Browse the headlines from the Beyond90Seconds.com Juliana Redding archives

Read the original March 17, 2008 Beyond90Seconds.com blog post, “Who killed Juliana Redding?”

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BREAKING NEWS: Report states Kelly Soo Park beat, killed Juliana Redding

-post updated at 6:04pm PST

ANALYSIS

So today…we learned that 44-year-old Kelly Soo Park *is* charged in the death of Juliana Redding.  And that Ronnie Wayne Case, 34, is *not* charged.  If you’ve been following the case here in recent days, you’ll recall that the news release issued by the Santa Monica Police Department (dated June 17) stated:

“They (suspects Case and Park) are charged with murder with special circumstances and conspiracy.”

So, what’s happened here?    As you may know, it’s not uncommon for investigators to speak of “charges” shortly after arrests…and prior to the time in court wherein charges are formally made.

Interesting developments can unfold in that short period of time between an arrest and an arraignment. Can’t say with any certainty whatsoever, but that could very well be what’s been happening  in the Redding case.

Update: (5:45pm PST, June 21, 2010) San Jose Mercury News reports Park  (formally) *charged* today and that her arraignment’s been continued until June 28.

“The district attorney’s office says that, pending further investigation, no charges were filed against another person, Ronnie Wayne Case, who was arrested with Park.” -San Jose Mercury News

Update: (5:26pm PST, June 21, 2010)  Park arraigned today, but Ronnie Wayne Case was *not* arraigned.  From the LA Times‘ blog:

“Park’s roommate, Ronnie Wayne Case, 34, had also been arrested by Santa Monica police detectives, but the district attorney’s office declined Monday to charge him, pending further investigation. Authorities remained tight-lipped about Park’s connection to the slain model or any potential motive, saying detectives may still be tracking other suspects.”-latimesblogs.latimes.com

***

The first news reports concerning today’s arraignments in the Juliana Redding murder case are now emerging online.  Among the early reports is a blogs.laweekly.com report that states the following:

“Prosecutors allege that Park entered the victim’s apartment one day before she was found ‘and physically assaulted her, causing her death,’  according to the D.A.’s office.” -blogs.laweekly.com

Stay tuned…

(archives:  Juliana Redding)

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Ronnie “The Rocket” Case a familiar name at Ventura Raceway

UPDATE:  (June 19, 2010 / 4:50pm PST):  Arraignment Monday for Camarillo couple in Santa Monica slaying / Ventura County Star / June 19, 2010

“A Camarillo race car driver and a woman who worked for a business that sponsored his car face a Monday arraignment after being arrested as suspects in the 2008 slaying of a Santa Monica model.” / Ventura County Star / June 19, 2010

***UPDATE*** (June 19, 2010 / 1:20pm PST):  Minutes after publishing the post below, the story at the following link came to my attention:

Judge dismisses charges against sprint car racer / Ventura County Star / April 14, 2010

“Case was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old teen at his home in 2006 when she was there with a friend and the friend’s boyfriend, according to prosecutors. Case had parties at the house, inviting people, some underage, who followed him around during various racing events, according to the District Attorney’s Office.” –Ventura County Star, 4/14/10

***

(Today’s original post)

In a surprising story that first appeared yesterday, he’s “murder suspect” Ronnie Wayne Case.  But at the Ventura Raceway, he’s apparently known as sprint car racer Ronnie “The Rocket” Case.

While an official confirmation has yet to be made, the man accused of killing 21-year-old Juliana Redding appears to be a dead-ringer for the guy who’s accustomed to life in the fast lane.  Just compare the information police released yesterday with what’s on the the driver’s website, ronniecase.com (please click image below for larger view):

Ronnie_Case_comparison

 

Is it the same man in each photo?  In addition to the similar appearance, each site lists the same date of birth (4/11/76) and residence (Camarillo).

Kelly_Soo_Park_mugshot

34-year-old Ronnie Wayne Case is one of two suspects now charged with Redding’s murder.  Kelly Soo Park, 44, and Case were both arrested on Thursday, June 17, in Camarillo. Police have said that more arrests are possible.

A bit more, now, about race car driver Ronnie Case.  His name appears twice in a June 3, 2010 story published on racingwest.com. According to that story, Case’s 880 points ranked 13th in the VRA sprint car point standings. Hoping to learn more about the race car driver, Beyond90Seconds.com submitted a request for an interview with racingwest.com this morning.  So far, no reply.

Case’s orange number-8 car is prominently featured on YouTube.  That video appears below:

[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/61sfrmWUz7M” width=”420″ ratio=”4:3″]

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Photos offer closer look at condo rented by Redding

Nearly 20 pictures appearing on a Los Angeles-area real estate Web site offer a closer look at the SantaCondo livingroom Monica condo rented by the late Juliana Redding.

Juliana Redding high school golf photo

Redding, an aspiring actress and model from Tucson, was found murdered in the condo March 16 after her concerned mother called police.

No arrests have been made. No suspects have been named.

According to Los Angeles media reports, Redding died as a result of blunt force trauma. However, the autopsy report has not been released.

Shortly after the murder, a police spokesperson told the Santa Monica Daily Press that a security hold had been requested (regarding the autopsy results)
because detectives did not want to release any information that could compromise their investigation.

(VIDEO: 17 condo pictures)

The condo is located on the 1500 block of S. Centinela Avenue.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Santa Monica Police Department at 310-458-8451.

Thank you to Beyond90Seconds.com reader “Miss Conduct” (nickname) for her tip on this story.

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Posters asking, “Who killed Juliana Redding?” plaster Venice street

Check out this June 2, 2008 story: Photos offer closer look at condo rented by Redding

related article: Santa Monica’s third homicide of 2008 ( May 21, 2008 )

***

Well, it’s been suggested that I include a disclaimer in this post, so I’ll begin by doing so.

DISCLAIMER: I had nothing to do with the posters/flyers found on a popular street in Venice, California on Sunday, May 4, 2008.

Okay, got that out of the way. But I can certainly see why some might have had any conspiracy theory tendencies twitching today. And in the event that you have that inclination, you might want to read this story before you pull the trigger.

Let me explain. The posters not only show a picture of the late Juliana Redding, they also ask the question, “Who killed Juliana Redding?”

It’s the same question that appeared in a March 17, 2008 headline on this blog. In fact–as of this moment–if you were to Google “Juliana Redding,” that post is likely to rank #1 or #2 out nearly 29,000 results.

A Los Angeles woman did just that. We spoke on the phone this morning. She does not wish to be identified.

I contacted the woman after learning she had photographed the posters. And she’s kindly agreed to share her photographs here.

The story of the “mystery posters” unfolded not far from Santa Monica (where Redding had been found murdered in her apartment March 16).

The posters recently turned-up in neighboring Venice on Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

“Abbot Kinney” features high-end shops popular with tourists. It’s also a short distance from the beach.

At about 10am yesterday, the woman approached the café where she’d planned to meet a friend for coffee.

“I was walking down the street and there were just all of these pieces of paper all over the pavement,” the woman told me.

She initially wondered if the posters were aimed at promoting a movie; a somewhat common tact taken by folks marketing films in the area.

The posters simply said, “Who killed Juliana Redding?” The woman had never heard of such a movie. Nor was she familiar with the person’s name within the question.

(Fact is there is no such film. But Juliana Redding was once very much alive.)

“So, I walked over to my friend who was sitting outside of this café, and I just said, ‘What are these posters?’ And she said, ‘I don’t know, but it’s really annoying because it’s all over the pavement.'”

The woman, who has her own blog, felt compelled to take a brief stroll down the block and document the scene.

“They (posters) were just all over the ground. Sprinkled on the ground.”

She tells it so well, let’s give her the next few paragraphs:

”So, I just walked up and down the pavement and I took some photos. And there were probably at least 15 that I saw within a two block radius on Abbot Kinney. And it seemed like they’d either been put there Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

“Some of them were stuffed underneath doorways or wedged into windows at the retail stores. But it was clear someone had just gone and thrown them all over the sidewalk.

“And I guess it was just surprising because there was no contact information. And it seemed odd that if someone was trying to help solve this mystery, why wouldn’t they put some kind of contact (information)?

“I mean, the only thing it seemed to do was make people want to go look at it and then go Google (the name) Juliana Redding to see what this was about. So, it’s just kind of an odd campaign.

“You might want to do a disclaimer and say (the posters) have nothing to do with you. Because it’s odd.”

Point noted. Whew!

But the posters remain interesting.

Why not any contact information? Even a number to call police?

And why strew them along a trendy Venice street?

According to at least one media report, Redding “was working to make ends meet as a hostess at a tapas restaurant and wine bar in Venice.”

Perhaps the flyers are aimed at pressuring law enforcement to step-up its investigation. Miffed shop owners get the attention of local leaders.

Yikes, now I’m posing a conspiracy theory. I’ll slow down

And who’s to say police aren’t working their tails off? They’ve kept a lot of information between themselves and the killer(s).

Including the findings of the autopsy report.

As always, your comments are welcome here.

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Who killed Juliana Redding?

NEW:  (March 10, 2009)  TV station removes Juliana Redding “arrest” story from its Web site

(August 30, 2008):  DNA links Santa Monica man to three murders

Check out this June 2, 2008 story:  Photos offer closer look at condo rented by Redding

Check out this May 21, 2008 story: Santa Monica’s third homicide of 2008

Check out this May 5, 2008 update: Posters asking “Who killed Juliana Redding?” plaster Venice street

Check out this April 14, 2008 update: Maxim photos reveal Redding’s beauty

Your comments on the Juliana Redding case are welcome here.

updates:

Juliana Redding

  • KNBC, (*on Merman case*) Autopsy reveals Santa Monica artist stabbed, beaten, March 24:
  • The LookOut News (*on Merman case*), Homicide victim stabbed to death, coroner concludes, March 24:

Alexander Merman, who was found dead in his Santa Monica condo last week, died of multiple stab wounds, according to the Los Angeles County Coroners Office. -The LookOut News

The findings of the autopsy conducted Saturday dispelled a report in the Los Angeles Times that Merman had been shot to death. Police had reported that Merman died as a result of “blunt force trauma.” -The LookOut News

Both Merman and Juliana Redding, who took several courses at Santa Monica College, were living alone and discovered after their mothers had asked for someone to check in on the victims, concerned after having difficulty reaching their children. -Santa Monica Daily Press

  • KNBC, Investigations into two Santa Monica murders continue, March 21:

Alexander Merman, 35 — who was apparently beaten to death — was found dead in his apartment at 520 Montana Ave. at about 8:05 p.m. Wednesday, said Santa Monica police Lt. Alex Padilla. -KNBC

“The mother had not been able to get in contact with her son for several days,” Padilla said. It was unknown how long Merman had been dead, he said. -KNBC

  • LAist.com, Details come out on second Santa Monica murder, March 21:

Police say the two murders in Santa Monica are unrelated, but both draw eerie similarities. Both murdered in their multi-family complexes, 3-miles apart, Juliana Redding, found dead on Sunday, and Alexander Merman, found on Wednesday, were discovered in their states at the request of each of their mothers for someone to check on them since communications had lessoned. -LAist.com

An artist’s body is found in his Montana Avenue apartment. Police say there is no apparent connection between his death and the killing of a woman whose body was found Sunday about 3 miles away. -Los Angeles Times

2nd victim: Alexander “Sasha” Merman

Merman’s Web site

  • KFOX, Police investigate 2nd “suspicious death” in Santa Monica, March 20 (article updated 7:49pm PDT)

Last fall a woman was assaulted in her Princeton Street home by a 17-year-old man from Oxnard who was believed to have been working on her house during the day.

The two incidents were unrelated but occurred on women who were believed to be living alone at the time.

When it comes to safety… -Santa Monica Daily Press

  • KCBS: Santa Monica man’s death now called suspicious, March 20:

Santa Monica police were expected to release more information about the discovery later on Thursday, Toti added. -KCBS

(on the Juliana Redding case)
Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the coroner’s office said that Redding’s autopsy was completed, but Santa Monica police put a “security hold” on the results. Winter said it would probably be 30 to 60 days before the results would be made public. -KCBS

  • KNBC: Man’s body found inside Santa Monica apartment, March 20:

Police on Thursday investigated the “suspicious death” of a man whose body was found inside a Santa Monica apartment, the second apparent homicide in the normally tranquil city since the weekend. -KNBC

Police, meanwhile, continued to investigate the death of Juliana Maureen Redding… -KNBC

Kovacik said police had determined there was no connection between the man’s death and Redding’s murder. -KNBC

  • Long Beach Press-Telegram, March 19 (10:58pm), a perspective column about recent violence against young people, including Juliana Redding

My sister Ginny Clements is on the line from Tucson, and she sounds distraught.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

“A girl I knew who was the granddaughter of a close friend was murdered in Santa Monica,” she said. “Her name was Juliana Redding, and I just feel terrible about it.”-Long Beach Press-Telegram

“The preliminary investigation has revealed no bullet or stab wounds,” Winter told the paper, though he declined to elaborate on Redding’s injuries or disclose a cause or time of death.

KABC reported that the autopsy results won’t be released for 30 to 60 days.

Police said they were working with DNA taken from the scene.

“We have collected some evidence at the crime scene that we’re looking at, both DNA and other,” Padilla told KABC. “And so any of that information will certainly be evaluated.”-FOX News

With tears in their eyes, friends from the Venice wine bistro where she had worked part time for about a year brought flowers to her apartment building Tuesday, placing them by a nearby palm tree. -LA Times

  • Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), March 19, California cops hunt leads in death of Salpointe graduate
  • KNBC-TV (Los Angeles) *video* 10:19pm, Tuesday, Friends remember 21-year-old aspiring actress, model
  • KABC, (March 18 ) Autopsy completed on murdered actress
  • KVOA-TV (Tucson) has just reported at 6pm that Redding was attending community college in Santa Monica and was working as a hostess in a restaurant
  • KABC reporter appearing on Tucson’s KGUN-TV at 6pm: Police say it appears Redding died from blunt force trauma

In high school “she was involved in the drama department, as well as the Salpointe golf team and student council, she was a good student,” said Kay Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the school. -Tucson Citizen

“I was divinely placed in a position to see how the music made those living in poverty feel so good,” he (Cipes) says.

  • Tuesday’s 11am video from KNBC-TV.
  • “ex-boyfriend” Greg Cipes tells KNBC Redding was “very lonely and scared of being in her apartment” and claims Redding worked at strip club on Sunset Boulevard.
  • FOX 11 (LA) latest video and article: “She was not shot. She was not stabbed.”

***

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Santa Monica Police Department at 310-458-8451.

A young woman who went to California to pursue her dream of becoming an actress and model was found dead inside her Santa Monica apartment early Sunday evening.

KABC-TV in Los Angeles reports that 21-year-old Juliana Maureen Redding was murdered and that police discovered the victim’s body after receiving a phone call from Redding’s concerned mother. Juliana ReddingThe news station reports the mother had made “several attempts” to contact her daughter.

A KNBC-TV (Los Angeles) story states that police believe Redding was killed Sunday.

According to KABC, police have said Redding was “assaulted.” KNBC reports that “there was some trauma to the body.”

No word yet on the cause of death.

(*KABC has several videos now on the Redding story. Video “New details in Santa Monica murder” shows police investigating what appears to be a trail of blood near Redding’s apartment. This video also includes a movie clip featuring Redding and an interview with her high school golf coach).

Redding had moved to California from Arizona. According to published reports, she graduated from Salpointe High School in Tucson.

Juliana Redding

While the Internet Movie Database does have a listing for a “Julianna Redding,” the popular movie Web site has no listing for a “Juliana Redding.”

*Update: Movie trailer and cast info for film featuring Juliana Redding. This appears to be the same person killed in Santa Monica.

There are some conflicting reports concerning the spelling of Redding’s first name. KGUN-TV (Tucson) appeared to spell it “Julianna.” However, this could not be verified as the station has not published the Redding story on its Web site.

As of early Tuesday morning, KOLD-TV (Tucson) used “Juliana” in its copy/text portion of its Web report. However, “Julianna” appears beside the victim’s picture at kold.com.

In a November 28, 2004 article, the Arizona Daily Star (Tucson) included Juliana Redding of Salpointe High School in its “honorable mention” list of standout high school golfers.

At this time, Beyond90Seconds.com has decided to use the Associated Press spelling of the victim’s name.

If Beyond90Seconds.com learns that a correction of the victim’s name is needed here, the correction will be made promptly.

Your comments on the Juliana Redding case are welcome here.

Additional links

Santa Monica Daily Press

KCBS-TV

Los Angeles Times

*special thanks to Tami over at Crime Interrupted who sent me some of the links concerning Greg Cipes.