Death, life sentences given in slayings

first_imgOne defendant was given death, the other life in prison Tuesday for the duo’s involvement in the murder of an elderly couple in La Habra Heights in 2001. Theodore Shove, who prosecutors said masterminded the killings, was given the death penalty, while Lewis Hardin, hired to carry out the murders, was given life without parole. Shove, 55, and Hardin, 35, were convicted of the 2001 beating deaths of Hubert “Bert” Souther, 81, and his wife, Elizabeth Ann, 79. Hardin’s lawyer, James Goldstein, said a life sentence was the outcome he and his client hoped for Tuesday. Deputy District Attorney David Walgren said he understands the jury’s decision. “But for Shove and his murder scheme, these murders never would have happened,” Walgren said. Walgren said the sentences will be a comfort for the family of the slain couple. “I’m just glad it’s reached a final resolution for the victims’ family,” he said. “They’ve been waiting for a long time to see a conclusion in this case – for six years.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029 [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Our job from the beginning was to save his life,” Goldstein said. “We’ve done that now, so we’re grateful.” Goldstein said Hardin will request a new trial. If that request is thrown out, he will appeal his conviction. Shove’s attorney could not be reached for comment. Prosecutors had urged the Los Angeles Superior Court jury to decide on the death penalty for both defendants in the murder-for-hire case. The Southers’ badly beaten bodies were found in their home in September 2001. Shove hired Hardin to kill the Southers because he wanted the couple’s surplus hardware and tool business, Cal Aero Supply, according to prosecutors, who said the murder weapon was a tire iron. last_img read more