|For Immediate Release
August 5, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
THIRD-STRIKER SENTENCED TO 32 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR FORCIBLY RAPING 73-YEAR-OLD WOMAN IN 1999 AFTER BEING LINKED THROUGH DNA COLD HIT
SANTA ANA – A third-striker was sentenced today to 32 years to life in state prison for binding the ankles and wrists of a 73-year-old woman with duct tape and forcibly raping her at knife-point in 1999 after being linked to the crime through a DNA cold hit. Edward Phillip McKenna, 46, formerly of Fontana, was found guilty by a jury July 14, 2011, of one felony count each of forcible rape and second degree robbery with sentencing enhancements for committing a crime against a vulnerable victim and the use of a deadly weapon during a sex offense. He has two prior strike convictions for attempted murder and robbery in 1983. Based on the violent nature of the crime and vulnerability of the victim, the People advocated for a sentence of 64 years to life in state prison.
On the morning of April 27, 1999, McKenna walked into a retail clothing store in La Habra where Jane Doe, 73, was working alone inside. The defendant asked Jane Doe what time the store next door opened and then left. He returned a few minutes later while the victim was still alone.
McKenna approached the victim with a large knife and backing her in to the store office. He pushed Jane Doe onto a chair and bound her wrists behind her back, her ankles together, and taped her mouth shut with duct tape. McKenna then pushed the victim to the floor, pulled down her pants. and forcibly raped her. After raping Jane Doe, McKenna stole the keys to her car, $350 in case from her purse, $100 in case from the cash register, and fled the scene in her vehicle.
Jane Doe was able to call 911. The La Habra Police Department responded to the scene and investigated the case, including collecting DNA from the sexual assault examination. The case went cold.
In an unrelated case in Riverside County, the defendant was convicted in 2002 for a series of robberies and evading a police officer, for which he was sentenced to 113 years to life in state prison. In 2005, while serving his sentence for the Riverside case at Corcoran State Prison, McKenna’s DNA was matched to the Orange County rape of Jane Doe.
McKenna was charged with the rap, pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, and represented himself as his own attorney during the jury trial. The jury found McKenna was both guilty of the crime and sane at the time of its commission.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Mark Sacks prosecuted this case.