Investigation Into Attorney’s Death Turns Toward Vanished Businessman

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — A long investigation into the slaying of a prominent Southern California attorney now includes two more apparent professional hits possibly linked to business and legal disputes, and Los Angeles County investigators are focusing on a vanished businessman.

Detectives suspect the involvement of Richard Wall but don’t think he carried out the shootings, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The 64-year-old, who ran a Whittier manufacturing business, hasn’t been charged. Officials believe he is in Montenegro, a European nation near Bosnia and Croatia that has no extradition treaty with the U.S.

“He’s not charged at this point, be he is our murder suspect in this case,” LA County Sheriff’s Lt. Victor Lewandowksi said. “Nothing prevents us from going there, that remains to be seen, whether or not that will happen.”

He was named a person of interest in the case after suddenly left for Europe earlier this summer when he sold his business and put his Whittier Hills home up for sale for a million dollars.

Wall’s attorney says his client had no involvement in the deaths, which occurred several years apart beginning in 2008.

The slain attorney Jeffrey Tidus represented a client who sued Wall for $11 million and won. Detectives say the other victims Juan Mendez and D.J. Vargas are also connected to Wall. They say Mendez, a former employee successfully sued Wall and Vargas owed Wall over $100,000.  Detectives say witnesses and physical evidence led them to Wall.

“Wall is our man,” Lewandowksi said.

Wall’s family says he has been planning the European trip for more than  a year.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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