MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING EX-GIRLFRIEND’S FATHER AND SISTER BEFORE SETTING THEIR BODIES AND HOME ON FIRE AND ATTEMPTING TO KILL HER MOTHER

 

For Immediate Release
Case # 07NF2178

November 22, 2013

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

 

MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING EX-GIRLFRIEND’S FATHER AND SISTER BEFORE SETTING THEIR

 BODIES AND HOME ON FIRE AND ATTEMPTING

TO KILL HER MOTHER

*Two co-defendants were convicted and one was sentenced in this case

 

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of murdering his ex-girlfriend’s father and sister and attempting to kill her mother. The two murdered victims were set on fire and a third was left in a coma after suffering life-threatening injuries. Iftekhar Murtaza, 29, Van Nuys, was found guilty by a jury of two felony counts of murder, one felony count of attempted murder, one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder, the special circumstance sentencing enhancements for multiple murders and murder during the commission of kidnapping.

 

As the District Attorney is seeking the death penalty in this case, the trial will now move to the second phase, the penalty phase. In the penalty phase, the same jury who found the defendant guilty of the crime will consider the aggravating and mitigating circumstances of the evidence to determine the defendant’s penalty, death or life without the possibility of parole. Opening statements in the penalty phase are expected to begin, Dec. 2, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

 

Charles Anthony Murphy, Jr., 28, Mission Hills, was found guilty by a jury Dec. 12, 2012, of two felony counts of special circumstances murder, one felony count of attempted murder, and one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder. The sentencing enhancements for multiple murders, murder during the commission of kidnapping, and murder for financial gain were found true. Murphy was convicted in his third re-trial, as a previous jury was unable to reach a verdict and the second re-trial was declared a mistrial. He faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole at his sentencing Dec. 20, 2013, at 9:00 a.m., in Department C-41, Central Justice Center.

 

Co-defendant Vitaliy Krasnoperov, 28, Hollywood, was found guilty by a jury Dec. 15, 2011, of two felony counts of special circumstances murder, one felony count of attempted murder, and one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder. The sentencing enhancements for multiple murders, murder during the commission of a burglary, and murder during the commission of kidnapping were found true. This was the second jury trial against Krasnoperov, as a previous jury was unable to reach a verdict on May 10, 2011. He was sentenced Nov. 9, 2012, to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

 

Background

In March 2007, 18-year-old Shayona Dhanak was a freshman at the University of California, Irvine, living in the campus dorms. Her father Jaypraykash Dhanak, 56, mother Leela Dhanak, 54, and sister Karishma Dhanak, 20, lived in the family home in Anaheim Hills.