Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images
Defendant Christian Gerhartsreiter from Germany attends his murder trial at Los Angeles Superior Court on April 8, 2013 in Los Angeles.
A Rockefeller impostor convicted in a California cold-case murder appeared in court as his own lawyer Tuesday and failed to delay his sentencing.
The judge said Tuesday he saw no reason to put off Christian Gerhartsreiter's Aug. 15 sentencing date. Gerhartsreiter could be given a sentence of 27 years to life in prison.
Gerhartsreiter said he wanted to go over trial transcripts to find legal errors, but the judge said that would be "a fishing expedition."
Gerhartsreiter acknowledged he was a novice in the business of representing himself and took a break to talk with his former Boston lawyers by phone.
He returned and said he believed if given enough time, he could prove that "the evidence is insufficient to support the verdict."
Superior Court Judge George Lomeli explained to the defendant that he must identify specific points he wants to read in the transcripts.
"You have to have a theory," the judge said. "You can't just look at the transcripts and try to find something."
Gerhartsreiter was convicted in the murder of John Sohus, the 27-year-old son of his former landlady in San Marino, a Los Angeles suburb. Sohus and his wife vanished in 1985. No trace of her was found.
Gerhrtsreiter asked for pictures of the backyard where a jury said he killed Sohus. The judge said they would be provided.
The defendant went by many names, including Clark Rockefeller, as he cut a swath through upper crust society on the west and east coasts in the years following the disappearance of the newlyweds.
He lived in tony neighborhoods of Connecticut and Manhattan, worked as a bonds trader on Wall Street and married a wealthy woman with whom he had a child. They divorced, and his identity unraveled when he kidnapped their daughter during a custody dispute.
Authorities looked again at an unsolved murder in San Marino and arrested the man who had lived on the property more than a quarter century ago.