Emily Shane was struck by a car and killed while walking down Pacific Coast Highway in April of last year. Her family has created a foundation in her memory to help students with learninng disabilities.

MALIBU — A man who was despondent over losing his job and driving recklessly along Pacific Coast Highway, crashing his car and killing a 13-year-old Malibu girl, was convicted Thursday of second-degree murder.

Sina Khankhanian, 28, faces up to 16 years to life in prison when he is sentenced June 15.

Prosecutors argued that Khankhanian was suicidal over the loss of his job on April 3, 2010, and drove his Mitsubishi Lancer recklessly for 17 miles at speeds up to 70 mph before he crashed near Heathercliff Road, killing Emily Rose Shane, who was walking along the street.

While the usual sentence for second-degree murder is 15 to life, an extra year was added because Khankhanian used his car as a weapon, Michael Shane, the father of Emily, said.

The eight-man, four-woman jury began deliberations Tuesday afternoon and came to its decision Thursday. It was the second trial in the case. The first trial earlier this year ended in a hung jury.

“I am relieved that the legal part of this horrible tragedy is behind us,” said Ellen Shane, Emily’s mother. “Nothing is going to bring [Emily] back, but at least justice was done for her.”

The Shane family created a foundation in Emily’s name — emilyshane.org — to reward people for doing good deeds and to offer tutoring services to youngsters.

Khankhanian’s defense attorney argued that his client was not guilty of murder, saying that at most he was guilty of vehicular manslaughter. He denied that the fatal crash was the result of a suicide attempt.


Adkisson is the managing editor of the Malibu Times. This article first appeared in that publication.

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