Convicted in real cold-case murder, fake Rockefeller gets 27 years
By Martha Neil
Aug 15, 2013, 03:00 pm CDT
A German national who masqueraded for years as a member of the monied elite has been found guilty of murdering the son of a long-ago California landlord and sentenced to 27 years to life in prison.
Christian Gerhartsreiter also made headlines a few years ago, when he was initially known as Clark Rockefeller, for kidnapping his own daughter. An investigation of that case, in which he was charged and convicted in Boston, led to the discovery that he had lied on multiple fronts, and was neither a member of the storied Rockefeller family, as he had claimed, nor a wizard of Wall Street.
Representing himself at sentencing after firing his lawyers in the Los Angeles case, the defendant insisted he did not murder John Sohus, the Associated Press reports.
Attorney Jeffrey Denner, who earlier represented Gerhartsreiter, said his former client's history didn't help him defend the highly circumstantial case.
“The way he went through life deceiving people did not make him very likable to the jury,” said Denner. “But that doesn't make him a killer.”
ABAJournal.com: "Fake Rockefeller found guilty of first-degree murder in real trial"