| Last Updated: Monday, May 8, 2000, 4:30
Recent homicides in Palo Alto
Sept. 22, 1998: Police believe Russian entrepreneur Vladimir Pokhilko
killed his wife and son before slashing his own throat. A family friend
found Pokhilko's body lying next to his son's bed with his throat deeply
slashed. An 8-inch hunting knife was still in Pokhilko's hand. The wife,
Elena Fedotova, and their 12-year-old son had been bludgeoned and stabbed
to death while apparently sleeping in their beds.
June 12, 1997: NASA scientist Herbert "Bert" Kay was robbed and beaten
to death by six suspects as he strolled on Gilman Street near downtown Palo
Alto. He left behind his wife, Meg, and twin daughters, who were 2 years
old at the time. Six suspects have been convicted and sentenced in the case.
Danny Toatele Tevaga, 19, has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison;
Christian Valdes, 22, and Falala Lelei, 18, also received 25 years to life
in prison; Olopitoamoa Tapuloa, 20, pleaded guilty in February to second-degree
murder and will serve 15 years to life in prison. Two juvenile suspects
are also serving time for the crime.
Aug. 3, 1996: James Taylor Wright, 66, was taken to Stanford Hospital
from Casa Olga, an extended-care residential facility on Hamilton Avenue
in downtown Palo Alto after suffering an apparent heart attack. Wright later
died. Police arrested James Edward Vonronne, then 56, and charged him with
manslaughter after they determined that Vonronne allegedly punched Wright
and knocked him down. Vonronne pleaded guilty in July 1997 to involuntary
manslaughter and was sentenced to two years in state prison.
March 31, 1996: Police discovered the body of Hakjoo "Jean" Kim,
59, in her home at 1160 Fulton St. Peter Wilson, then 31, was later arrested
and charged with beating Kim to death. Wilson was Kim's tenant in the Fulton
Street house. He was convicted of first-degree murder in March.
Nov. 13, 1994: Stanford graduate student David Liu, 23, was shot
and killed during a robbery outside an apartment complex near Greer Park.
Liu had already handed over his money when he was shot and killed. Eddie
Jay Pereles, 24, arrested in January 1995, was convicted of first-degree
murder in Liu's death, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility
of parole. An alleged accomplice in the killing-- Larry Paul, 22, who prosecutors
say actually shot Liu--was sentenced to 28 years to life in state prison
in January 1998.