Thursday, November 20, 2008

La Jolla Man Guilty of Second-Degree Murder

La Jolla resident Seth Cravens, 22, has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of surfer Emery Kauanui in May of 2007.

According to authorities, Cravens punched Kauanui in the head during a fight in a residential neighborhood in May of 2007 after Cravens and several friends had a run-in with Kauanui at a neighborhood bar earlier in the evening. Kauanui hit his head on the pavement following the punch and was hospitalized, dying less than a week later at a San Diego hospital.

Cravens was convicted on the jury's sixth day of deliberations. The panel had indicated Monday it was deadlocked 11-1, but the stalemate was broken after several more hours of talks.

Cravens was also convicted of four counts of assault, and one count each of battery and making a criminal threat in connection with violent incidents dating back to 2005 that were unrelated to Kauanui's May 24, 2007, death. Jurors acquitted Cravens of two counts of assault and one count of battery.

Cravens is looking at a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison when sentenced on Jan. 12.

Three other males involved in the altercation pleaded guilty to lesser charges resulting from Kauanui's death and were sentenced to time in local custody.

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