Rebecca Grossman Seeks New Murder Trial to Overturn Her Conviction

Rebecca Grossman Seeks New Murder Trial to Overturn Her Conviction

Rebecca Grossman, left, and her daughter head to Van Nuys Courthouse in Los Angeles, on Feb. 14, 2024. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via AP)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

5/15/2024

Updated: 5/15/2024

After hiring a new defense attorney, Rebecca Grossman, who was convicted in February of the second-degree murder of two young brothers, is seeking a new trial that would overturn her conviction.
James Spertus, who took over Ms. Grossman’s legal team in February, filed a motion May 13 asking Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joseph Brandolino to toss Ms. Grossman’s conviction in the hit-and-run murders of Jacob Iskander, 8, and Mark Iksander, 11, arguing that prosecutors failed to produce evidence to prove their case and failed to prove Ms. Grossman acted with implied malice.
“Vehicular homicide second-degree murder charges require evidence that the defendant acted with a ‘base antisocial motive and with a wanton disregard for human life,’ and there was no evidence presented at trial to support findings of such acts by Ms. Grossman in this case,” Mr. Spertus stated in the complaint. “The defense respectfully moves for a new trial mindful of the victims’ losses and the emotion crying out for accountability.”
Mr. Spertus also argued that the prosecution’s inclusion of testimony related to a speeding ticket Ms. Grossman received in 2013 should not have been admitted, saying it was an insufficient attempt to show implied malice on Ms. Grossman’s part.
Mr. Spertus’ hiring also carried a potential conflict of interest in Ms. Grossman’s case, raised by the prosecutors in her case, as he is also the attorney representing Assistant Dist. Atty. Diana Teran–the supervisor of the two who raised the issue—in a separate case where Ms. Teran has been charged with 11 felonies for allegedly misusing confidential law enforcement records.
In response, Habib Balian, assistant head deputy of the LA District Attorney Office’s Major Crimes Division, will now act as lead prosecutor in Ms. Grossman’s case.
Karim Iksander, the father of the deceased boys, told local news outlet KTLA that he believed Ms. Grossman intentionally hired Mr. Spertus knowing there would be a conflict of interest, prompting the district attorney’s office to reassign the prosecutors.
“There is [a] clear attempt by Ms. Grossman to not just create a conflict of interest,” Karim said to KTLA, “but to influence the justice system in her favor.”
Ms. Grossman, a LA-area philanthropist and socialite, was convicted of second-degree murder and other charges in February for a hit-and-run accident in 2020 that killed two young boys in Westlake Village, California.
The jury convicted Ms. Grossman of two counts of second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and hit-and-run resulting in death.
The issues come just weeks before Ms. Grossman’s June 10 sentencing date. She faces up to 34 years to life in prison.
She had remained free throughout the trial on a $2 million bond, but was taken into custody immediately after the verdicts were announced.
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

Author

Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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