79-YEAR-OLD MAN CONVICTED AND FOUND LEGALLY SANE IN SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES SHOOTING-MURDER OF DOCTOR IN NEWPORT BEACH MEDICAL OFFICE

SANTA ANA – A man convicted of special circumstances murder for shooting his doctor in a Newport Beach medical office was found by a jury to be legally sane today.

Defendant Charges Maximum Sentence Court Date
Stanwood Fred Elkus, 79, Lake Elisnore Found guilty by a jury on Aug. 21, 2017, of one felony count of:

  • First degree murder

Sentencing Enhancement Found True:

  • Special circumstances – lying in wait
  • Personal use of a firearm causing death
Life in state prison without the possibility of parole Sentencing

Sept. 15, 2017, 9:00 a.m.

Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana

Circumstances of the Case

  • In 1992, Elkus was diagnosed with a narrow urethra by victim Dr. Ronald Gilbert.
  • Gilbert recommended that the defendant undergo a procedure to widen his urethra and the operation was performed by two different doctors.
  • Elkus developed an obsession with the procedure, believing that it had damaged his prostate and destroyed his sex drive.
  • The defendant blamed the victim for the “failed procedure” and began plotting his revenge.
  • At approximately 2:45 p.m. on Jan. 28, 2013, Elkus arrived at his doctor’s office in Newport Beach for an appointment while armed with a firearm.
  • The defendant waited in an exam room until his doctor, victim Ronald Gilbert, entered.
  • Elkus then pulled out the firearm and murdered Gilbert by shooting him multiple times.
  • Other doctors heard the shots and ran to assist Gilbert. They called 911 and attempted to revive the victim, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
  • Elkus gave the firearm to a medical staff member in the office and surrendered to police without incident.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 13CF0291 / August 28, 2017

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