Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, January 30, 2012


Page 1


Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gary Hahn to Retire




Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gary R. Hahn is retiring, the MetNews has learned.

A court staff member said that Hahnís last working day would be Thursday. The judge could not be reached for comment.

The 63-year-old jurist was appointed to the now-defunct Long Beach Municipal Court by then-Gov. George Deukmejian in September 1988. He was elevated to the Superior Court by Deukmejian the following year and has sat for a number of years in Compton. 

A Pasadena native, Hahn graduated from UCLA, where he majored in history, but also studied accounting. He turned down a job offer at an accounting firm where he had interned in order to attend Loyola Law School, where he earned his degree in 1973.

He joined the Attorney Generalís Office the following year, and remained there until his appointment to the bench.

In a newspaper interview shortly after he joined the municipal court, he explained that he had applied for appointment on the recommendation of William Pounders and Howard Schwab, former colleagues who received appointments earlier. 

He explained in that same interview that he had applied to work in the civil division, but wound up spending his entire tenure on the criminal side, handling appeals and appearing in federal court to argue civil rights cases and habeas corpus petitions. He also prosecuted trial court cases and developed an expertise in laws governing citizensí use of Mace and similar substances for self-defense.

His best-known cases may have been those of Daniel Sanchez, known as the Long Beach Freeway rapist, and Ernesto Acedo, who claimed that he was under the influence of the anti-depressant Zoloft when he killed his wife and son and set fire to the family home.

In 2009, Hahn sentenced the then-29-year-old Sanchez to nine life terms, plus 616 years, four months, on nearly 60 felony counts including rape, assault, robbery, and kidnapping.

Most of the victims were between the ages of 14 and 19.

In the Acedo case, Hahn granted a directed verdict in the sanity phase, finding that the defendant was sane when he committed the murders, and later sentenced him to 35 years to life in prison after jurors found him guilty of two counts of second degree murder and one count of arson.


Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company