Galanter’s Assailant Given 14-Year Prison Sentence

Mark Allen Olds was sentenced to 14 years and four months in prison today for brutally slashing City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter’s throat during a burglary of her Venice home.

Olds’ attorney, James M. Epstein, offered an apology in court to Galanter on behalf of his client. “Mr. Olds has asked me to tell Ms. Galanter how sorry he is,” said Epstein, adding that Olds understood that she could not forgive him.

In a barely audible whisper due to her damaged vocal cords, Galanter made no specific recommendation about how Olds should be punished. But she told Superior Court Judge Raymond D. Mireles, “I didn’t do anything to deserve such an attack and I’m going to carry a life sentence for this.”

Olds, 28, wearing a blue jail uniform, stood silently throughout the brief proceedings, his hands clasped behind his back and his eyes downcast.


Mireles imposed on Olds the maximum term possible for the crimes he committed. Olds was convicted of second-degree attempted murder involving great bodily injury and the use of a knife, and first-degree burglary. Epstein said that with good behavior and other provisions, Olds probably will serve about 6 1/2 years in prison.

Olds was convicted of entering Galanter’s Venice home just before dawn May 6, holding her down on a bed and stabbing her in the throat when she awakened. Her screams and a burglar alarm she set off frightened Olds away and summoned neighbors.