A man allegedly linked by DNA to the killing of a prominent television director at his Studio City home more than three decades ago is awaiting extradition to Los Angeles County to face a murder charge that could bring a potential life prison sentence.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed the charge May 3 against Edwin Jerry Hiatt II, 52, who’s accused in 1985 slaying of Barry Crane, whose directing credits included “The Incredible Hulk,” “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” “Police Woman,” “Police Story” and “The Streets of San Francisco.”
Crane had been bludgeoned by a large ceramic statue, according to Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman, who said the 57-year-old victim also had a telephone cord wrapped around his neck.
The murder charge includes a sentence-enhancing allegation that Hiatt used a heavy decorative object during the commission of the crime.
Crane was found dead by his housekeeper on July 6, 1985. He was wrapped in his bedding on the floor of his townhouse garage, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Hiatt was linked to the crime through DNA evidence, according to police and prosecutors.
Detectives traveled to North Carolina on March 8 and interviewed Hiatt.
“During the interview, Hiatt admitted to killing Barry Crane,” according to an LAPD statement.
As Hiatt, who was arrested this week, was led out of a sheriff’s station, the handcuffed, gray-bearded suspect told reporters he has been living in Burke County, North Carolina, and working at a Mercedes-Benz auto shop in neighboring Caldwell County.
He said he has no recollection of the killing, but added, “Anything’s possible back then. I was big into drugs.”
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