Brother And Sister Convicted Of Murder In Stepfather Shooting - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Brother And Sister Convicted Of Murder In Stepfather Shooting

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. --  A jury has just announced that Brae Hanson should go to prison for the death of her stepfather Timothy MacNeil.  Wednesday, a separate jury handed down a guilty verdict for her brother Nathaniel Gann.  Prosecutors say the siblings wanted the crime to look like a robbery gone bad in order to get their stepfather's money.

Nathaniel Gann, 20, was convicted for the July 19, 2007, death of Timothy MacNeil, a 63-year-old criminal defense attorney. Jurors deliberated for about three days before reaching their verdict.

Gann could be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. San Diego Superior Court Judge Frederic Link scheduled sentencing for June 19.

Hansen was tried with her brother, but a separate jury considered her case. Hansen's jury reached a verdict last week, but Link said he wouldn't announce it until Thursday morning.

In his closing argument last Friday, Deputy District Attorney George Bennett told the Gann jury that MacNeil got "jumped" by his stepchildren as he arrived at his Rolando home around noon.

The prosecutor said the siblings tried to make it look like MacNeil was shot to death by a masked intruder in a botched robbery.

Hansen initially told police that the masked intruder bound her wrists with Zip Ties and shot her stepfather when he wouldn't give the robber the combination to his safe, according to court testimony.

But Bennett told the jury that MacNeil was shot four times -- including a fatal shot to the back of the head -- by Gann, who drove from Arizona to San Diego to commit the crime when his younger sister told him she wanted the victim dead.

"It was no accident, it was no spontaneous, rash act," the prosecutor said. "It was done by a sneak attack by means of lying in wait."

But although Gann was convicted of murder, the jury rejected the allegations that Gann personally used a handgun and that the crime was committed by lying in wait.

Bennett said police initially treated Hansen as a victim but arrested her when her story fell apart. Gann was arrested at his Arizona home the next day.

A jailhouse informant testified that Gann told him details of the murder that only the killer would know, Bennett told the jury.

Defense attorney Ricardo Garcia, in his closing argument, told jurors that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. He said "unreliable" evidence presented should leave jurors with rational questions in their mind whether Gann was guilty of murder.

Garcia urged jurors to question whether a ski mask found near the crime scene -- police say it had Gann's DNA on it -- was contaminated.

The murder weapon, which was found in the backyard, had a mixture of Gann's and Hansen's DNA on it, but that should be questioned because the gun once belonged to the defendants' mother, who committed suicide in 2006, Garcia said.

In his closing argument in Hansen's trial, Bennett said the woman gave Gann a handgun, withdrew money and had a key made as part of the conspiracy that led to MacNeil's death.

The "appalling crime" was committed after several days of planning by the defendants, the prosecutor said.

Hansen's attorney, Troy Britt, told jurors in his closing argument that tiny bits of evidence, when added together, show his client tried to back out of the plot.

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