May 29, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Court Denies Re-Sentencing for Man Convicted in Mar Vista Dispensary Murder

The Man Received a 40 Years to Life Sentence for Murder and Robbery at a Dispensary on W. Venice Blvd

An appeal for re-sentencing by one of the two men convicted of the murder of a Mar Vista medical marijuana dispensary owner has been rejected by a state appellate court panel, City News Service reported. 

James A. Eastland, 27, received a sentence of 40 years to life in state prison in 2019 after pleading guilty to murder and robbery charges related to the shooting death of Ovik Oganesyan, 50, at the dispensary located at 12480 W. Venice Blvd. This occurred approximately 6 1/2 years ago, along with an unrelated robbery.

Superior Court Judge Curtis B. Rappe denied Eastland’s petition for re-sentencing under a state law that applies to certain murder cases. Eastland’s co-defendant, Kayshon Lamont Moody, 31, is serving two consecutive life prison terms without the possibility of parole for the murders of Oganesyan and M.D. Mizu Rahman, 34, at a Chevron station in the 2100 block of North Vermont Avenue one day before Oganesyan’s killing.

During Moody’s trial, Eastland testified, stating that Moody had expressed intentions of committing a robbery and informed him of a marijuana dispensary without a security guard. However, Eastland claimed he didn’t realize they were planning to rob the Golden State Dispensary until they reached the rear of the building. He mentioned waiting in the lobby until he heard gunshots, then entering the dispensary through a shattered reception window and grabbing jars of marijuana while Oganesyan pleaded for help. Eastland testified that he didn’t recall stepping over the wounded man to reach the business’ safe but became aware of it after watching surveillance footage of the crime.

Eastland testified to knowing Moody for about five months before the incident and shared that Moody directed him to rob a store afterward to obtain more cash. He said Moody mentioned not being able to enter the business due to being recognized by people there. The two later drove to Las Vegas, where Moody shot at another motorist following a rear-end collision. Prosecutors asserted that Moody also shot and wounded a man during an attempted carjacking shortly after the crash, but no charges were brought against him in Nevada.

Both men were apprehended by Los Angeles police on January 20, 2017, shortly after returning to Southern California.

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