The jury began deliberations in the Christian Gerhartsreiter murder trial after listening to the prosecutor rebut the defense’s closing arguments.
The murder victim, John Sohus, was a member of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society who helped out in the club library when he disappeared in 1985. His body was found during a pool excavation in 1994.
Prosecutor Herbert Balian rejected the defense’s argument that Gerhartsreiter would have been too smart to bury Sohus’ body in two bags that could be tied directly to him — one bag coming from the bookstore at USC, where Gerhartsreiter attended classes, and the other from the bookstore at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where Gerhartsreiter was enrolled from spring 1980 to spring 1981.
“He never thought these bags would be found,” Balian said. “It’s not like he laid them on the ground for everyone to see. He buried them.”
Gerhartsreiter probably would not have been tied to the case, Balian said, if the new owners of the Lorain Road property had not wanted a pool and dug up the backyard.
Balian also answered defense attorney Jeffrey Denner’s argument that there is a possibility Linda Sohus killed her husband. First he disputed the claim, then argued it didn’t matter.
If Linda had any role in killing her husband, he argued, she would have needed help.
“Don’t be confused, don’t be mistaken. If two or three of you believe Linda is alive and the killer there is no reasonable scenario where she did it without his involvement,” Balian said. “But that is not the case. He killed. He’s guilty of murder. “