A British national was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering two people, including the niece of singer Al Jarreau, at a condominium in Tujunga more than nine years ago.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler imposed the term on Neil Graham Revill, 38, who was convicted March 15 of first-degree murder for the slaying of Kimberly Crayton and second-degree murder for Arthur Davodian’s killing.
Revill showed no reaction as he heard the sentencing. Fidler, rejecting defense motions for a new trial, said he was convinced the jury’s verdicts were correct.
“The evidence was overwhelming in this case that Mr. Revill committed these murders,” Fidler said.
The victims were found stabbed to death Oct. 11, 2001, in the condominium in the 10100 block of Commerce Avenue. Crayton’s 14-month-old baby was found crying in the condo.
Prosecutors maintained that DNA evidence, including a blood drop from Revill that was found on the toddler’s dress, linked him to the killings.
Crayton was stabbed 19 times and Davodian – who had been beheaded – was stabbed 14 times.
Revill’s “paranoid mental state,” which was caused by methamphetamine use, led him to inaccurately believe that Davodian was setting him up to be killed by someone else, according to Deputy District Attorney Phil Stirling.
Jurors found true the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, which made Revill’s sentence mandatory because prosecutors had previously opted not to seek the death penalty.
Along with the murder charges, jurors convicted Revill of two drug counts.
Crayton’s father, Michael Player, addressed the court before sentencing, saying his daughter was a young woman who had her share of struggles in her brief life. But he said that during her good times, she became an excellent high school swimmer and even competed on the boys’ water polo team because there was not one for girls.
“She wasn’t a great student, but she tried hard,” Player said.
He said the family was deeply troubled by an article about the case that Player said was biased toward Revill and misrepresented facts about Crayton.
“They had an agenda in that article to libel the dead,” he said.
Player’s wife, Debbie, said she waited nine years for the sentencing hearing to arrive so she could confront Revill and tell him the damage done to her family. She recalled the days she watched her daughter steadily become one of her school’s top swimmers.
“We never missed a practice, we never missed a meet,” she said.
Her daughter was cheated out of a basic right, she said.
“Her simple right to a life has simply been erased,” she said. “I hope that he will rot in his cell and that later he will rot in hell.”
While the Players spoke, photos were displayed on a large screen of Crayton, her younger brother and her daughter, now 10.
Davodian’s brother, Artin Davodian, also acknowledged that his sibling battled internal demons. But he said his brother was a giving person who ended up being betrayed by a man he tried to help.
Stirling said after the sentencing that “justice was served.” He also said Revill spent more than 3,400 days in custody in the Men’s Central Jail, which the prosecutor said is likely a record.