With Huntington Beach resident Rachael Mullenix already convicted of the first degree murder of her mother, former boyfriend Ian Allen faced the beginning of his own trial on the same charges.
The jury trial of Allen, 23, accused of murdering Barbara Mullenix in the Huntington Beach condo where she and daughter Rachael Mullenix lived, began last week with opening statements from prosecution and defense, as well as testimony from several witnesses.
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.
It was because of girlfriend Rachael Mullenix, convicted 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.
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. Rachael Mullenix finally resorted to murder after building up rage at years of abuse, she said.
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. A few days later, Allen and Rachael Mullenix were arrested in Louisiana.
Another friend of Allen, Alexander Dochmaschewsky, said he might have inadvertently given Allen an idea on how to dump the body. After Allen 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 said his conversation with Allen, dismissed as “crazy talk,” made him nervous later.
“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?’”
The trial continues this week.