Sentencing date set for actor found guilty of murder

VISTA — A court hearing was held Oct. 29 to request a new sentencing date and further proceedings for the case of actor Shelley Malil, who was found guilty on Sept. 16 for the premeditated attempted murder against his ex-girlfriend in August 2008.
Malil’s sentencing was originally scheduled for Nov. 18, at the San Diego Superior Court, North County Division, Vista Regional Center, but was put on the calendar to be rescheduled because the Honorable Harry M. Elias would not be available that day, according to Prosecutor Keith Watanabe.
Malil was escorted into the courtroom wearing a gray jail uniform and a smile on his face as he was seated next to his attorney, Matthew Roberts, for the hearing that lasted only a few minutes.
Roberts requested a new sentencing date that he said for at which time he would also be requesting a potential new trial.
He said he had been receiving letters (from the defendant and victim’s family members) that are being duplicated for a potential new trial and sentencing.
The new sentencing date was agreed upon by the parties and set for Dec. 16, nearly a month later than the original date.
“The defense needed more time for a motion for a new trial,” Watanabe later said.
Roberts later said that a reason for a motion for a new trial was being explored.
“It’s a relatively common thing to investigate and determine if there’s basis for a new trial,” he said.
But the possibility of a new trial being granted to Malil isn’t likely, according to Watanabe.
“If they (the defense) lose — which is likely, we’ll move right into sentencing.”
Malil played a comedic role in the movie “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” but faces a serious sentence of 14 years to life in state prison if given the maximum jail time for the brutal stabbing of Kendra Beebe.
The stabbing took place in the backyard of Beebe’s San Marcos house and nearly killed the 36-year-old mother of two, whose children were home at the time of the attempted murder.
Malil was found guilty of the premeditated murder of Beebe, in which he drove from his Los Angeles residence to San Diego County and stabbed her 23 times in back-to-back attempts to kill her before neighbors rescued her from the horrific ordeal.
During Malil’s three-week trial, a doctor testified that if the knife had cut into Beebe’s body just a millimeter more in various places, that the stabbings would have killed her.

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