|For Immediate Release
July 21, 2006
Public Affairs Counsel
(714) 347-8408 Office
(714) 323-4486 Cell
FELON CONVICTED FOR GUNNING DOWN AND EXECUTING EX-GIRLFRIEND AT FOOD COURT
SANTA ANA – An Orange County jury convicted a felon of gunning down and executing his estranged girlfriend and personally using a firearm to commit the murder. Gary Laine, 51, a then homeless man living in his truck, plead guilty prior to trial to the charge that he illegally possessed a firearm as an ex-felon. Laine has a 1984 strike conviction for felony arson. He will be sentenced on July 28, in C-35, before the Honorable Frank Fasel in the Central Justice Center, in Santa Ana. Laine could receive 80 years to life in prison.
On February 12, 2004, Kim O’Hara, 44, of Anaheim, and her male companion were eating at a food court attached to a gas station. O’Hara was a mother of three children. Laine arrived in his truck and parked in the parking lot. Defendant went inside and told victim he wanted to talk to her. Victim reluctantly left with defendant, leaving her male companion inside the restaurant. The male companion heard defendant tell the victim that they should go to their usual spot to talk.
“Laine lured her outside and shot at her fourteen times as she desperately tried to get away from him. Laine was not done even after she had 10 shots embedded in her body. Laine drove his truck over to her, and then put two more rounds in the back of her head as a final coup-de-gras of his execution while sitting in the driver seat,” stated Senior Deputy District Attorney Margaret Roper of the Homicide Unit who is prosecuting the case.
The Anaheim Police Department investigated the case, with Sergeant Chuck Sullivan acting as the lead investigator. They gathered witnesses who identified the defendant in photo line-ups and alerted Texas authorities that the defendant had contacts in Texas and was headed there. Defendant ultimately turned himself in four days later to authorities in Texas, admitting he was wanted for a murder in Anaheim, CA.
“The defendant knew he was guilty and did everything he could to conceal his crime. He threw the murder weapon into the Colorado River, threw away the license plates from the truck, and shed his clothing during his escape to Texas,” stated Roper. “We are grateful that he will likely spend the rest of his life in prison unable to hurt innocent lives.”