BEVERLY HILLS – A Beverly Hills jury deliberated three hours on Oct. 2 before convicting a 25-year-old man of murdering the son of Japanese filmmaker Fuminori Hayashida in July 2010.
Deputy District Attorney Linda Loftfield, who prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Amy Carter, said Scott Joseph Barker was convicted of one count of first-degree murder.
The jury found true the special circumstance of lying in wait. The jury also found that Barker personally used a knife to commit the crime.
The District Attorney’s Office opted prior to trial not to seek the death penalty and Barker will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Superior Court Judge Elden Fox, who presided over the trial, scheduled sentencing for Nov. 9.
Barker and Chie Alexandra Coggins Johnson, 22, were charged in the case. Coggins Johnson pleaded no contest in February 2011 to assault with a deadly weapon and testified against Barker at trial. She was sentenced to five years of supervised probation and a year already served in county jail.
Katsutoshi Tony Takazato, 21, the filmmaker’s son, was stabbed 58 times on July 20, 2010. His body was found outside his father’s Trousdale Estates home in the 1800 block of Carla Ridge.
Coggins Johnson had dated Takazato, but began dating Barker. Prosecutors said Barker was enraged because Takazato allegedly was forcing Coggins Johnson into pornography and prostitution to help pay his gambling and drug debts.
Defense attorney Bradley Brunon argued that Takazato was killed by someone to whom he owed money, and that Coggins Johnson was involved.
Shortly after the slaying, Barker and Coggins Johnson were arrested by Beverly Hills police and charged. Barker has remained in custody since his arrest.
The victim’s father is the executive producer of “Red Meat” (1997), “No Strings Attached” (1997), “Basil” (1998) and “Lured Innocence” (2000). The latter film starred Dennis Hopper.