Read the L.A. Weekly story “Did Scott Barker Knife Rich Kid Tony Takazato to Save His Girlfriend From Prostitution?”
25-year-old Scott Barker will now die in prison.
That's what Beverly Hills Superior Court Judge Elden Fox essentially told Barker on Monday when he sentenced the aspiring actor/screenwriter to life in prison without parole for the 2010 murder of 21-year-old Tony Takazato in Beverly Hills' swanky Trousdale Estates area.
Takazato was the son of movie producer Fuminori Hayashida, who lived in Japan while Takazato was mostly raised by a housekeeper. The 21-year-old was part of a bizarre love triangle, with Barker convicted of stabbing Takazato 58 times with a steak knife and killing him.
Barker had moved to Los Angeles from Florida in 2010 with big dreams to make it in show business. Within a matter of months, he was charged with murdering Takazato, who was the former boyfriend of Chie Coggins Johnson. She was dating Barker at the time of the slaying.
During the weeks-long trial last fall, Johnson claimed that Takazato pimped her out to friends as a prostitute and taped her sexual exploits for pornography. Takazato and Johnson were both short on cash, Johnson said, and they needed a way to make ends meet.
When Johnson revealed her work as a prostitute to Barker, prosecutors theorized, the boyfriend became enraged and ultimately murdered Takazato.
Prosecutors gave Johnson, who was also charged with murder, a deal to testify against her ex-boyfriend. She was an unsteady witness during the trial, but jurors came back on October 3 with a guilty verdict.
Takazato's father never attended the trial, but Barker's parents sat in the front row of the Beverly Hills courtroom everyday.
Just before the 2010 murder, Barker planned to go back to Florida with Johnson. That never happened. Barker will now spend the rest of his life in a California prison.
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.