A con man who once passed himself off as a member of
the wealthy Rockefeller family is scheduled to be sentenced today for
murdering a San Marino man 28 years ago and burying the remains in the victim's
Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, 52, was convicted April 10 of the
February 1985 slaying of John Sohus.
He faces 27 years to life in prison when
he is sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli.
Gerhartsreiter, who is acting as his own attorney, was expected to ask
that he be granted a new trial. In a recent telephone interview from jail, he
told The Pasadena Star-News he hoped to read a lengthy motion during the
"This is not a traditional motion,'' he told the paper. "I have
reviewed all of the evidence and it irrefutably shows I had nothing to do with
this." Along with first-degree murder, jurors found true allegations that
Gerhartsreiter used blunt and sharp objects in the killing.
Gerhartsreiter -- who has claimed to be a Rockefeller, an English
nobleman and a Hollywood producer and who was known as Christopher Chichester
at the time of Sohus' death -- lived in a guest house on the Sohus property at
1920 Lorain Road.
Sohus' buried remains were uncovered there in May 1994 by an excavation
crew preparing to build a swimming pool on the property for a new owner.
Gerhartsreiter was not charged in connection with the disappearance of
Sohus' wife, Linda, who vanished at about the same time.
Defense attorneys argued during the trial that Linda Sohus may have been
responsible for her husband's death, but Deputy District Attorney Habib
Balian claimed evidence points to the defendant as having killed her, as well.