The California Supreme Court refused today to review the case against a former Long Beach resident convicted of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend's husband in Torrance nearly 28 years ago.
The state's highest court denied a defense petition seeking review of the case against Janos Kulcsar, who was found guilty in June 2011 of first- degree murder for the Dec. 9, 1985, attack on Archie McFarland.
The 58-year-old victim was stabbed five times, including once near the groin, in the driveway of his home on 184th Street while leaving for work about 5 a.m.
Kulcsar had been romantically involved with McFarland's wife, who had returned to her husband before he was killed.
She resumed her relationship with Kulcsar some time after being widowed and was still seeing him at the time of his April 2010 arrest for her husband's murder, according to a ruling handed down earlier this year by the state appellate court panel that upheld Kulcsar's conviction.
The three-justice panel from California's 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense's contention that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction and that the 25-year delay in charging him violated his due process rights.
In the Aug. 22 ruling, Associate Justice Thomas L. Willhite Jr. wrote on behalf of the panel that its review of the record "leads us to conclude that the evidence, although circumstantial, was more than sufficient to support defendant's conviction."
The appellate panel noted that the evidence showed Kulcsar was "both distraught and angry that Mary Ann moved back in with Archie, and that he had made several threats to Mary Ann and/or Archie," and that Kulcsar was "the only person who had a motive to kill Archie."
The justices also found that Kulcsar had "failed to show any prejudice caused by the pre-arrest delay."
He was released from custody two days after the killing, after the District Attorney's Office informed a Torrance police detective that it would not be filing a case against Kulcsar.
Police reopened the case and arrested Kulcsar, then 59, after taking a fresh look at the evidence and re-interviewing him.
Kulcsar was sentenced in January 2012 to 26 years to life in state prison.
-- City News Service