Hintergardt Is Guilty on 8 Counts : Court: He could face a prison sentence of 10 to 12 years for his part in the attack on Aissa Wayne and Roger Luby.
Jerrel Lee Hintergardt was found guilty Monday on all eight felony counts in the attack on John Wayne’s daughter Aissa Wayne and her former boyfriend in Newport Beach 19 months ago.
Hintergardt, 38, of Burbank surprised law enforcement officials and even his own attorney when he admitted on the witness stand last week that he and another gunman approached Wayne and financier Roger W. Luby on Oct. 3, 1988, in the garage of Luby’s estate and assaulted them.
Now prosecutors will concentrate on trying to convict Dr. Thomas Gionis, Wayne’s ex-husband, in connection with the attack. Gionis is scheduled to go on trial next month. Prosecutors claim he ordered the attack on the couple through a private investigator who hired Hintergardt and the second gunman, Jeffrey K. Bouey.
Gionis denies any involvement in the attack.
Hintergardt admitted slashing Luby’s right Achilles tendon with a knife and that he handcuffed both victims. But he denied Wayne’s claim that her facial injuries occurred because he smashed her head into the concrete garage floor. Hintergardt blamed Bouey, the other gunman, for those injuries.
Bouey, who is cooperating with authorities, during his testimony last week supported Wayne’s contention that it was Hintergardt who assaulted Wayne.
Superior Court Judge John J. Ryan set Hintergardt’s sentencing for June 8. Hintergardt could be sent to prison for a term of 10 to 12 years.
Hintergardt’s attorney, Todd A. Landgren, told the jury in his opening statement last week that he would prove that Hintergardt was at the Veterans Hospital in Los Angeles the morning Wayne and Luby were attacked.
But Thursday morning, Hintergardt astonished Landgren by telling him just before court began that he was responsible for the assault. Landgren, who was hired to represent Hintergardt more than a year ago, said it was the first time Hintergardt had said anything that even indicated that he was there that day.
Landgren told jurors in his closing argument that he had worked in good faith in putting on two days’ worth of witnesses to corroborate Hintergardt’s alibi.
It took jurors less than a day to return the guilty verdicts. The charges included assault, false imprisonment, conspiracy and residential burglary.
“The verdict comes as no surprise,” Landgren said afterward.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Christopher J. Evans would not comment outside the courtroom because Gionis’ trial is pending. In his closing arguments at the Hintergardt trial, however, Evans laid out the heart of his case against the doctor.
Bouey had testified that he and Hintergardt and the private investigator, O. Daniel Gal, were having a meeting a short time before the assault when Gal got a telephone call. Gal told them it was the client, who wanted action fast. Telephone records show that Gal received a call from Gionis at that time.
“Who was it on the telephone? Mr. Big. Dr. Gionis,” Evans said.
Bouey and Gal, who has also cooperated with the authorities, have assault charges pending against them too. However, their cases are not expected to be resolved until after Gionis’ trial.
Gionis was scheduled to go to trial with Hintergardt but won a delay because his attorney, John D. Barnett, suffered a serious injury.