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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Einhorn Found Guilty of Murdering Ex Girlfriend

Aired October 17, 2002 - 11:33   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: The case of Ira Einhorn, the so-called hippy guru, who had been on the run for 20, 25 years now, has been found guilty of killing his girlfriend. Our legal analyst Jerry Toobin is joining us now. We have him in the bureau studio there. He's joining us now. What do you make of what we just heard here?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This has really been an extraordinary legal saga, Leon.

Remember, Ira Einhorn has been convicted already of this crime. He was convicted in absentia. That means that he wasn't there for the trial of this murder. He was on the lam at the time. They found him in France. The Pennsylvania legislature had to pass a special law that would allow France to extradite him. They brought him back. He was tried again, and he was convicted again. So, I mean, this verdict is literally 25 years in the making, and there's some very satisfied prosecutors there.

HARRIS: Don't you think that after 25 years, the guy could come up with a better story, well, that body that was in the trunk in my closet, I was framed, someone else put it there?

TOOBIN: Well, Leon, you know, defense attorneys have a term for that. They call it bad facts. Defense attorneys had some bad facts in this case. As you know, when you find a dead body in your very own trunk and it's your girlfriend, and you have diary entries that talk about your temptuous relationship with her, those are some bad facts. You know, he took the stand, and I think we can tell by the length of the jury deliberations, the jury wasn't buying it a bit.

HARRIS: Yes.

TOOBIN: He got convicted.

HARRIS: Yes, in a matter of a couple of hours here. Let's check in with our Jason Carroll. Jason Carroll is on the phone right now, and I believe Jason is out of the city of Philadelphia right now, but he had been in Philly for some time covering the trial for some time -- Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Leon, good morning to you.

I really have to tell you, this verdict comes as no surprise to many people who had been following this particular trial. The defense admitted early on that the prosecution had put on a very strong case. They called several witnesses who claimed that Einhorn was physically abusive in the past, including a former girlfriend, who said Einhorn actually hit her over the head with a coke bottle and then tried to strangle her when she tried to end their relationship.

Assistant district attorney Joel Rosen at one point even read from a poem Einhorn once wrote that said that all relationships end in violence. One of the local radio stations, this is interesting, called the defense, what the defense had put on something called the "X-Files" defense, referring to, of course, the science fiction show that's on one of the networks.

The trial was characterized as being somewhat bizarre at time, that by the prosecutors. Einhorn himself testified during the trial. He claimed in part that he was framed for the murder by the CIA, because the CIA, he said, had knowledge of some sort of a mind control weapon that the government was trying to create. Einhorn testified that shortly before Holly Maddux's disappearance, he was investigating Leon, called "psychotronic" weaponry. He said that's some sort of a mind control weapon. He said he was looking into that before Maddux's disappearance.

He also talked about having meetings with the prince of Iran and running some sort of a telekinetic camp for young people. As for Holly Maddux, he said that the last time that he spoke to her in 1977, she simply walked in when he was in the bathroom and said she was going out to make a phone call, and after that, he says, that he never saw her again. He did not call the police after that, instead, Leon, he told the jurors that he called a psychic friend of his, because he said that he trusted her psychic abilities.

Of course, the jury did not buy that defense. They found Ira Einhorn guilty of Maddux's murder.

This is going to be something that the Maddux has been waiting for almost two decades or so. As you know, Einhorn skipped the country shortly after his arrest, moving throughout Europe to Ireland, England, and finally settling in France. He did his best to avoid extradition. Of course, he was finally extradited last year. And finally, he stood trial for Holly Maddux's murder -- Leon.

HARRIS: I'm sure. I agree with you on the assessment of the Maddux family. They have to be happy to hear about this. With an alibi like that, that hippy was certainly smoking something back then.

Incredible story. We want to go back to Jeffrey Toobin, standing by as well in New York on this one.

Now what could possibly happen next in this? This the end of the jury's portion of this particular case, deciding whether or not he's culpable, what happens from here out?

TOOBIN: Certainly, there will be an appeal, Leon, but I don't think this legal drama, which has had extraordinary twists and turns is going to change much. He's, obviously, going to be sentenced. He's 62 years old. This will carry a very long sentence. He's not eligible for the death penalty. In fact, one of the interesting issues in terms of the extradition controversy, France did not want to extradite Einhorn if there was any possibility that he would be executed, because France does not have the death penalty. That was part of the very complex negotiations, involving his extradition. As I mentioned before, I mean this is just so incredible when you think about it, the state of Pennsylvania, the legislature passed a separate law that was just to deal with the Einhorn case, so that he could be extradited.

You know, this case has not really penetrated the national consciousness very much, but in Pennsylvania, this has been a long- running saga, and Holly Maddux's family has been understandably in the lead in trying to get justice for their late daughter. This has been followed very closely there.

You know, they finally brought him back. He did have the trial that, you know -- he had a fair trial. He got a -- he was able to testify. The jury was able to look him over, see whether they believed him, and they convicted him promptly, and I anticipate that the only end to this story is he that he'll serve the rest of his life in jail.

HARRIS: All right. Now it's all over but the sentencing. We will have to wait to see how that turns out. Jeff Toobin, thanks much. Take care.

TOOBIN: OK, Leon.

HARRIS: See you soon.

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