By Edwin Folven, 10/04/2012
A jury in Beverly Hills deliberated three hours before convicting a 25-year-old defendant of murdering the son of Japanese filmmaker Fuminori Hayashida in July 2010.
Scott Joseph Barker was convicted of one count of first-degree murder, with the special circumstance of lying in wait. Prosecutors alleged that Barker killed the victim, Katsutoshi Tony Takazato, because he believed Takazato had forced his girlfriend into prostitution.
The District Attorney’s Office opted prior to trial not to seek the death penalty. Barker will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elden Fox scheduled sentencing for Nov. 9.
Barker and his girlfriend, Chie Alexandra Coggins Johnson, 22, were charged in the case. Coggins Johnson pleaded no contest last year to assault with a deadly weapon and testified against Barker at trial. She was sentenced to five years of supervised probation. Coggins Johnson had previously dated Takazato and had previously lived with him, but was dating Barker when the murder occurred. Takazato was fatally stabbed nearly 60 times on July 20, 2010. His body was found outside his father’s Trousdale Estates home.