Case # 11CF2363
Man Sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole for Murdering Business Partner for Financial Gain
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced today to life without the possibility of parole for murdering his business partner in their San Juan Capistrano office to gain control of the victim’s shares of the company.
Edward Shin, 41, of Irvine, was convicted in December 2018 of one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for murder for financial gain.
In 2010, Shin co-owned an Internet advertising business, 800xchange, with 33-year-old Christopher Smith. On June 4, 2010, Shin murdered Smith in their San Juan Capistrano office and disposed of the body. He committed the murder for financial gain with the intention of gaining full ownership of the business. After the murder, Shin produced documents containing a false signature from Smith signing the rights of the business over to defendant.
Smith lived in the City of Laguna Beach and the Laguna Beach Police Department began investigating this case as a missing persons case based on a report filed by the victim’s family in April 2011. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) took over as the lead investigating agency based on evidence that the victim had been murdered in San Juan Capistrano. Shin was arrested on Aug. 28, 2011, by OCSD Investigators at Los Angeles International Airport sitting onboard a flight awaiting departure to Canada.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.