Edward Shin, 41, of Irvine, was sentenced July 26 to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering his business partner, 33-year-old Christopher Smith of Laguna Beach, in their San Juan Capistrano office to gain control of Smith’s shares of the company, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
Shin was convicted in December 2018 of one felony count of murder, with a sentencing enhancement for murder for financial gain.
In 2010, Shin co-owned an online advertising business, 800xchange, with Smith. On June 4, 2010, Shin murdered Smith in their San Juan Capistrano office and disposed of the body, OCDA officials said.
“He committed the murder for financial gain with the intention of gaining full ownership of the business,” authorities said. “After the murder, Shin produced documents containing a false signature from Smith signing the rights of the business over to defendant.”
Smith lived in Laguna Beach, and the Laguna Beach Police Department began investigating the case as a missing persons case based on a report filed by the victim’s family in April 2011. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department took over as the lead investigating agency based on evidence that the victim had been murdered in San Juan Capistrano.
Shin was arrested on Aug. 28, 2011, by OCSD Investigators at Los Angeles International Airport sitting onboard a flight awaiting departure to Canada.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.