FIRST OFF . . .
NBC’s television movie about the Billionaire Boys Club, broadcast between murder trials of club founder Joe Hunt, did not violate his right to a fair trial, a federal appeal court ruled Monday. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a federal judge’s rejection of Hunt’s October, 1987, request for an injunction preventing the NBC network from showing the “docudrama.” NBC scheduled the docudrama about Hunt and his gang of wealthy thrill-seekers to air nationally on Nov. 8-9, 1987. Hunt was appealing a murder conviction and was awaiting trial in another murder case when he filed a complaint against NBC, contending that broadcast of “Billionaire Boys Club” would infringe on his Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial. When the movie was aired, Hunt had already been found guilty in Los Angeles of the murder of Ronald Levin and was awaiting trial in San Mateo County for his alleged role in the murder of Hedayat Eslaminia. The movie used Hunt’s real name, but not Eslaminia’s. The movie portrayed Hunt planning and committing the murder and established his motive for the crime. The cast of the two-part movie included Judd Nelson, Ron Silver and Raphael Sbarge.