Fullerton : Dentist Faces Life With No Parole in Slaying
Jurors recommended life in prison without parole Friday for a dentist convicted of killing a Fullerton accountant in his dental office to prevent the man from testifying against him in a kidnaping case.
Dr. Michael Myron Olson, 44, was convicted May 12 of first-degree murder with special circumstances that qualified him for the death penalty.
In the penalty phase of his trial, a Superior Court jury in Torrance decided Friday to recommend that Olson serve out his life in prison. Olson will be formally sentenced July 18 by Judge William Hollingsworth Jr.
Prosecutors said that Olson fatally shot David Paschal, 26, in 1981 to prevent him from testifying about the dentist’s role in a kidnaping for which the dentist was eventually convicted.
According to court documents, Paschal was lured to Olson’s Gardena office in December, 1981, by the prospect of having sex with a receptionist, but Olson shot him when he arrived.
Paschal’s body was found 12 days later in the trunk of a car parked at Los Angeles International Airport.
Court documents show that the case began in 1980 when Olson asked a man named James Brandon to locate a former employee, Jeannette Wardrop, who had accused the dentist in a $4.5-million lawsuit of sexually abusing her.
Instead of locating the woman, Brandon disappeared with $50,000 Olson had given him.
In November of that year, Olson hired Paschal and another man, Andrew Garcia, to help him kidnap Brandon’s brother, Ronald, from his Northern California home in the hope that it would help Paschal find James Brandon.
Ronald Brandon was abducted at gunpoint, but the kidnaping was foiled when a neighbor gave chase and called police.
Although Paschal and Garcia denied during the trial that the kidnaping had occurred, they were convicted in November, 1981.
While awaiting sentencing, Paschal decided to recant his testimony and Olson--whose kidnaping trial had not yet begun--learned of his change of heart, court documents stated.
It was at that point that the dentist had one of his receptionists lure Paschal to his office with the implication that he could have sex with another receptionist.
Olson was convicted in April, 1982, in Mariposa County of kidnaping Ronald Brandon and was later sentenced to seven years in state prison.