June 3, 2015
Case # 15CF1206
MAN CHARGED FOR 1986 COLD CASE SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES MURDER OF BUSINESS ASSOCIATE
*Defendant was previously convicted by a jury of murdering a second business associate in Florida in 1987
SANTA ANA – A man was charged today for the 1986 cold case special circumstances murder of a business associate in Orange County. Steven Wyvern White, 65, was charged today with one felony count of murder with special circumstances for a prior first degree murder conviction in Florida in 1987. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. He is currently awaiting extradition to Orange County from a Florida prison facility. The date, time, and location of his arraignment are to be determined.
In 1986, White, then 29 years old, is accused of befriending 79-year-old Cedric Horn, a semi-retired dentist. White is accused of persuading Horn to enter into business dealings with him. White is accused of gaining access to the victim’s bank accounts and fraudulently transferring funds from the victim’s account into the defendant’s personal account.
On March 7, 1986, Horn had left his home to drive to a business meeting in northern California and then to visit his daughter in Oregon. During the trip, the victim contacted his daughter to let her know that he changed his mind about visiting Oregon and was returning to Santa Ana.
Sometime between the phone call to his daughter and March 13, 1986, White is accused of murdering the victim.
On April 7, 1986, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) began investigating the victim’s disappearance. OCSD discovered the victim’s car in Houston, Texas, and the passenger seat headrest soaked in blood. A DNA profile was then created from the evidence that was collected which matched the victim. The victim’s body was never recovered.
As OCSD continued investigating this case, White is accused of depositing a $60,000 check, taken from Horn’s account, and then fleeing California.
On Dec. 12, 1987, the defendant was convicted by a jury for murdering another business associate in April 1987, in Florida and sentenced to serve 25 years to life in prison in a Florida prison facility.
In 1988, following White’s murder conviction in Florida, law enforcement authorities in Florida contacted OCSD about discovering property in the defendant’s possession that belonged to Horn.
Beginning early this year, the Orange County Cold Case Homicide Task Force (OCHTF) reopened the investigation in this case and discovered sufficient evidence to file charges against White for the murder. This case was investigated by OCHTF and OCSD.
Formed in 2014, the OCHTF is a law enforcement collaboration aimed at investigating and solving cold case homicides in Orange County. Task force members include the Anaheim Police Department, Fullerton Police Department, Huntington Beach Police Department, OCDA, OCSD, and Santa Ana Police Department.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.