Beverly Hills says husband of dead woman still under suspicion

Gary Klein at his Beverly Hills home.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

A Beverly Hills man suspected of murdering his wife is using a federal civil rights lawsuit to try to force police to end their four-year probe of her death, lawyers for the city contend.

Gary Klein, whose wife, Rina, 41, died in a hospital in May 2009 after suffering seizures, remains a “person of interest” in an active investigation into her death, according to legal papers filed by Beverly Hills.

Klein “wants the police to close their investigation into his wife’s death and has chosen this civil lawsuit as a way to try to bring that about,” the city says in a motion to put Klein’s suit on hold pending resolution of the criminal case.


Klein’s suit alleges that Beverly Hills detectives have harassed and tried to intimidate him because, the suit says, his mother-in-law duped them into believing he was responsible for his wife’s death.

Klein, 59, has been fighting with his in-laws in the courts over his wife’s estate and visitation of Klein’s three sons.

Police have searched Klein’s home three times, interviewed his parents and other family members and spoken with the mothers of his sons’ classmates. His wife’s body also was exhumed.

The first autopsy blamed Rina Klein’s death on lupus, an autoimmune disease. The second autopsy could not determine a cause of death. She was taking several medications at the time of her death.

Klein wants the affidavits behind police search warrants unsealed. He has argued that his in-laws have used the criminal probe as a weapon in the civil litigation.

Rina Klein’s family, citing advice from the police, have refused to discuss the investigation, and Beverly Hills police also have declined to comment.

In a motion to dismiss Klein’s lawsuit, lawyers for Beverly Hills said the police have kept their findings secret “so as not to taint the evidence or give any suspects implicated in Rina’s death an opportunity to explain away the evidence.”

A hearing on the city’s motions has been scheduled for April 22.


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Twitter: @mauradolan