LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A former Los Angeles Unified elementary school teacher was convicted Monday of murdering his estranged wife outside a West Hills home where she had taken refuge after obtaining a restraining order against him.
Jurors found Michael Rodney Kane, 48, guilty of first-degree murder, making criminal threats and violating a stay-away order. He is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole, with sentencing set for April 20.
Kane went to the West Hills home at about 8 a.m. on June 15, 2013, overpowered a friend who tried to bar the door to the house, then chased his wife outside and stabbed her 41 times. The couple’s two children were inside the house at the time.
Kane was captured two days later at a motel after his abandoned vehicle was spotted by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies in the Joshua Tree area.
The estranged couple was in the middle of a bitter divorce. Michelle Kane, 43, had gone to police twice the day before she was killed and made a follow-up call to report her husband had violated a restraining order and vandalized the home they once shared in Canoga Park.
During the defendant’s preliminary hearing, a police detective testified that Kane left a chilling voicemail message for his wife.
Paraphrasing, the detective said the message warned, “The beast is hungry. I need to feed the beast. I made my peace with God. Today may be your day. It may be a week from now. Basically, your time is coming.”
Kane started as a substitute teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1997, followed by three permanent teaching assignments, the last of which was at Nestle Avenue Charter Elementary in Tarzana.
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