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Man, 23, Gets Life Without Parole in Death of Elderly Woodland Hills Resident

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A South-Central Los Angeles man was sentenced to prison for life without the possibility of parole Friday for breaking into a Woodland Hills home and killing a 67-year-old man while an accomplice held the victim’s wife at gunpoint.

Devin Feagin, 23, a longtime gang member, smiled at relatives and friends in the courtroom as Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Kathryne Ann Stoltz imposed the maximum possible sentence for firing the pistol that killed Howard D. King.

However, Terrill Ross, 21, also of South-Central Los Angeles, who police say held a pistol on 69-year-old Faye King while her husband was shot to death in the couple’s bedroom, slammed his fist on a courtroom table after Stoltz sentenced him to 27 years to life in prison.

Both men maintain that they did not commit the April 29, 1988, break-in and murder.

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Feagin’s attorney, Jack Stone, argued that the killing might have been an act of self-defense because Howard King kept a pistol in the couple’s bedroom. It was never found, investigators say.

But Stoltz disagreed, saying that evidence at their trial earlier this year indicated that the two “went there specifically to terrorize the occupants.”

Feagin and Ross were linked to the murder by the Kings’ neighbors, who told police they had twice seen a gold Cadillac drive slowly up and down Darien Street, a cul-de-sac, the day before the killing.

Neighbors testified that they were suspicious of the car and wrote down its license plate.

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Police traced the car to Feagin and also found both men’s fingerprints inside the King house, according to court testimony.

Faye King, who said she was making tea in the kitchen when the pair burst into the house, also identified Ross as the man who held her at gunpoint.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Antoinette Decker said that Faye King, who did not exercise her right as a crime victim to speak at the sentencing hearing, is “living a hell on Earth in the house where her husband was killed. She can’t sleep nights. This has totally ruined her life.”

Ross’ attorney, Patrick Atkinson, said that with time off for good behavior, his client could be paroled in less than 15 years.

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