Huntington Beach resident Ian Allen told friends he planned to kill his girlfriend’s mother as painfully as possible, just days before her body was found in Newport Beach shores with dozens of stab wounds, witnesses said on the first day of trial.
“He wanted to make it slow and painful,” former friend Ryan Neptune said about a get-together the weekend before the killing. “He also offered myself and my friend Alex money to drive to a location in the desert, [to] either Temecula or Barstow. He wanted to blow up the body.”
Allen’s demeanor was “kinda somber almost,” Neptune added.
The jury trial of Allen, 23, accused of murdering Barbara Mullenix in the Huntington Beach condo where she and daughter Rachael Mullenix lived, began today with opening statements from prosecution and defense, as well as testimony from witnesses.
It was because of girlfriend Rachael Mullenix, already convicted of first degree murder in July, that Allen killed her mother, prosecutor Sonia Balleste said. Angry at being forbidden to see Rachael Mullenix, then 17, he conspired with her to kill Barbara Mullenix, she said.
“That woman, Rachael Mullenix, is the reason Mr. Allen did this horrendous, brutal act,” Balleste said. “He did it for her. But the evidence will show it was his choice. It was his decision that he conspired with Rachael Mullenix to kill her mother.”
But Deputy Public Defender Julie Swain said the killing was all Rachael’s doing, and Allen only helped Rachael cover up the killing after he saw what had happened. Instead, Rachael Mullenix finally resorted to murder after building up rage at years of abuse, she said.
“He didn’t have the motive, the opportunity or the will to kill Barbara Mullenix,” Swain said. “He was not a violent person, nor the type of person that’s prone to violence. When you look at Rachael Mullenix’s life, the sad conclusion is she was working up to this for two years.”
On Sept. 13, 2006, Barbara Mullenix’s body was found with more than 50 stab wounds, including a butter knife lodged in her eye, on the shore near the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. The body was identified by the serial numbers on her breast implants.
A few days later, Allen and Rachael Mullenix were arrested in Louisiana.
Another friend of Allen, Alexander Dochmaschewsky, said he might have inadvertently given him an idea on how to dump the body. After Allen said he wanted to kill Mullenix and offered him $100 to drive the body to the desert, Dochmaschewsky said he made a joke.
“I said if I were ever to dispose of a body, I would weight it down and throw it in the ocean,” he said. “Now I’m not serious I thought we were just having a joking conversation.”
But things got more ominous soon after, Dochmaschewsky said.
“I said I’m going to tell on him, report him,” he said. “He said, ’Well, if you do, I’ll kill you.’”
Neptune too said the conversation, dismissed as “crazy talk,” made him nervous later — and it made the news of Allen’s arrest for murder no surprise at all.
“It was heavy on my mind at that point,” he said. “We were at a high school football game and my father called me. He said, ‘Remember that neighbor kid on the street, Ian? He’s on the news.’ I said ‘What, for murder?’ and he said ‘Yes, how did you know?’”