A Hollywood man was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years to life in state prison for killing a man he had been dating for several weeks and putting the victim’s body in a suitcase dumped in a trash bin.
Merdan Haydarov, 23, was convicted Jan. 31 of second-degree murder for the Nov. 23, 2013, killing of Randall Scott Kreeger, 49, whose throat was cut. Jurors also found true an allegation that Haydarov used an edged weapon during the crime.
The panel acquitted Haydarov of first-degree murder.
The two men had apparently met about three weeks before, and there was a “dating aspect” to their relationship, according to Deputy District Attorney Radhika Patel.
Haydarov claimed that Kreeger had touched him inappropriately and that he was trying to defend himself, according to the prosecutor. Authorities believe, however, that the motive for the killing may have been robbery.
Haydarov was arrested the day after the killing. He told police where to find the victim’s body, which had been left in a trash bin in a suitcase in which he had been shrouded in multiple layers of fabric and trash bags, according to Patel.
The victim’s friends notified police that he was missing after he failed to respond to text messages and to show up for planned meetings, and authorities found surveillance videotape from outside the victim’s Koreatown condominium showing Haydarov going in and out of the building multiple times, including leaving with an overstuffed suitcase, Patel said.
“My two children will never know Uncle Randy,” the victim’s younger brother, Cameron Peron, told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench.
“Shame on him,” Peron said, referring to the defendant. “I wish nothing but the worst for this person.”
John McPherson, who described Kreeger as one of his best friends, said he had been in court for almost every hearing in the case because he wanted “to ensure that justice was done for him” and that he was “grateful I have been able to see this through.”
“I’m just very sorry to all of you,” the judge told Kreeger’s brother and a group of friends in court.
—City News Service
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