Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
|For Immediate Release|
July 28, 2006
FELON SENTENCED TO 80 YEARS TO LIFE FOR
GUNNING DOWN AND EXECUTING EX-GIRLFRIEND
AT FOOD COURT
SANTA ANA – The felon who pleaded guilty to gunning down and executing his estranged girlfriend and personally using a firearm to commit the murder was sentenced today to 80 years to life in prison. 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 was sentenced today to 25 years to life in prison for the murder, and the sentence was doubled due to his prior strike. He also received 25 years to life for the gun enhancement, and an additional five years because his arson conviction was a violent felony. His total sentence is 80 years to life, and he was also ordered by the judge to pay $10,500 in restitution to the victim’s family.
On February 12, 2004, Kim O’Hara, 45, of Anaheim and her male companion were eating at a food court area 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 O’Hara outside and shot at her fourteen times as she desperately tried to get away from the defendant. After Laine had embedded 10 shots in her body, he drove his truck over to her and put two more rounds in the back of her head to finalize the execution. The defendant then 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.
Anaheim Police Department investigated the case. 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 their way. Defendant ultimately turned himself in four days later to authorities in Texas admitting he was wanted for a murder in Anaheim, CA.
“Laine is going to spend the rest of his life in prison,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Margaret Roper of the Homicide Unit, who prosecuted the case. “We are grateful that now he’ll be unable to hurt innocent lives.”