Man Receives Life Term for Killing Owner of Restaurant
A San Diego County man was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 1987 shooting death of the owner of a fast-food chicken restaurant in Sunland.
Ronald Taylor, 24, of Oceanside was convicted by a San Fernando Superior Court jury last month of murder, attempted robbery and unlawfully taking a vehicle. Prosecutors described the death of Pioneer Chicken restaurant owner Louis Lim, who had bought the business just two months earlier, as a robbery gone awry.
Taylor and another man entered the restaurant on Foothill Boulevard on the afternoon of Nov. 19, 1987, while Lim, 35, of Baldwin Hills, was in the kitchen mixing juice, according to court records.
Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Craig R. Richman said the other man served as a lookout while Taylor walked into the kitchen and fatally shot Lim in the back of the head.
Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty against Taylor because of lingering doubts about whether he was the gunman or the lookout, Richman said. But trial testimony of several witnesses convinced prosecutors and the jury that Taylor was the gunman, he said.
The second man has not been arrested or identified.
Fingerprints recovered from an abandoned stolen car that Taylor and the other man used to flee the restaurant linked Taylor to the crime, Richman said.
Investigators believe that the crime was intended to be a robbery, despite the fact that the two men fled without demanding any money, Richman said, adding that investigators discounted the possibility that the two men were hired to kill Lim.
Taylor was on parole for a previous robbery at the time of the incident, according to court documents. He was convicted in 1983 of robbery and sentenced to a five-year prison term. While incarcerated, he was convicted of possessing a weapon in prison. He was paroled in late 1986.
Taylor was sentenced by San Fernando Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen.