VISTA — The real-life scene has ended for actor Shelley Malil after a judge sentenced him on Dec. 16 to life in prison with parole for the premeditated attempted murder and assault of his ex-girlfriend, Kendra Beebe.
More than a dozen news cameras captured the final hours of the court sentencing, which was likely the end of the spotlight for Malil, 45, an India-born Los Angeles actor who had a supporting role in the 2005 comedy “The 40 Year Old Virgin.”
In September a jury found him guilty of the brutal attack on Beebe, in which he used two knives to separately stab her 23 times in back-to-back assaults that left the mother of two nearly dead Aug. 10, 2008, at her San Marcos home.
At the Dec. 16 opening court proceedings, Malil’s defense attorney, Matthew Roberts, had made a motion for a new trial, claiming the jury didn’t agree on a certain act of violence.
Judge Harry Elias said that the jurors may not have agreed on what caused the willful, deliberate and premeditated acts of Malil, but that all of their verdicts were consistent beginning from the time Malil entered Beebe’s residence before the stabbings began.
He denied the motion for a new trial.
“I stand before the defendant today — alive,” Beebe said to the court. “I am here despite the wicked scars he left on my body from head to toe.”
Judge Harry Elias imposed the maximum sentence for the charge of first-degree attempted murder, which is state prison for life with the possibility of parole.
He said that there are some crimes so egregious that they deserve the harshest punishment under the law.
The soonest opportunity for parole will be after seven years, he said.
Malil was given an additional five years for the enhancement charge of domestic violence causing great bodily injury, so after credit for time served the parole eligibility may be eight or nine years.
“If he can do what he’s done to this point, there is, I think, an opportunity for parole,” Elias said.
Prior to the sentencing, Malil’s niece, a friend, co-worker and two preachers addressed the court and spoke of his character, spirituality and compassionate fatherhood to his son.
Malil’s niece apologized for Malil’s actions, and the preachers also let Beebe know they were sorry for what she had been through.
“Kendra, we pray for you as a church. We lift you up and we lift him up. This situation is one that’s very tragic and I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through. We all are. We are asking for leniency,” said Zachary Kintner, a preacher.
There were emotional gasps and tears in the courtroom that came from family members of both Malil and Beebe.
“I hope his mother never receives a call that one of her children has been stabbed 23 times and is not expected to live,” said Beebe’s mother, Laurey Manning.
She said Malil was a monster and that she hoped his sentence was to the fullest amount of the law.
Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe, prosecutor on the case, requested Malil be sentenced to life.
“The fact that Shelley Malil took so many actions to snuff out her (Beebe’s) life — he’s worthy of a life sentence,” he said.
Malil had previously testified at his trial that the night of the attack he had gone to Beebe’s house to apologize for an incident that happened the night before, which included him taking some items from Beebe’s house and sending sexually explicit photos of her to some of her employees at the business she owned.
When he got to Beebe’s house, after driving from Los Angeles, she was in the backyard drinking wine with a male companion before Malil stabbed her, according to reports.
Prosecutors contend that Malil was mad at Beebe and attacked her at her home before her screams drew the attention of a neighbor who came to her rescue, according to the testimony.
According to previous reports from The Coast News, Beebe’s neighbor Charlton Lee testified he and his wife came to Beebe’s aid after hearing her screams.
Lee said when he looked over his retaining wall he could see someone chasing Beebe. Eventually, he said he found Beebe lying on a couch with Malil standing over her pointing a knife near Beebe’s abdomen and moving the weapon near her face and throat. Lee said when he got a better look, he realized Beebe’s chin was “almost completely severed off” and “blood was pouring from her neck.”
The actor turned himself in Aug. 11. He was arrested at the Oceanside Amtrak station after taking a train down from Los Angeles.
Also during testimony, Sheriff’s Detective Paul Lacroix said that one of the knives used to stab Beebe was the same brand as other knives found in Malil’s apartment. The second knife is believed to have come from Beebe’s kitchen.