[UPDATED with Land Transfers Blocked:] Dr. Ronald Franklin Gilbert's Family Files 2 Civil Suits Against Patient Accused of Murder
See the update at the end of this post on a judge blocking the land transfers with a preliminary injuction.
ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 5, 11:39 A.M.: The family of Dr. Ronald Franklin Gilbert has filed two lawsuits against the disgruntled patient accused of fatally shooting the Newport Beach urologist in an examination room in January.
Stanwood Fred Elkus, 75, of Lake Elsinore, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment to murdering the physician, a married father of two who graduated from UCI College of Medicine in 1987 and had been practicing medicine locally for 23 years.
Elkus, a barber who had complained to friends and neighbors about the effectiveness of prostate treatments he was receiving his his golden years, showed up for an afternoon appointment at the Hoag Hospital-affiliated Orange Coast Urology on Jan. 28. But once he was alone in the exam room with Gilbert, police say, the patient fired several rounds from a handgun into the doctor's upper torso, killing him.
Stanwood Fred Elkus
As medical staff began attending to the mortally wounded doctor, Elkus is reported to have handed the gun to an employee before surrendering himself to police. Held on $1 million bail, he pleaded not guilty at his continued arraignment last month to felony special circumstances murder by lying in wait, with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm causing death. A conviction could send Elkus to state prison for life without the possibility of parole.
One civil lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court's by Gilbert's survivors accuses Elkus of wrongful death. The other alleges fraud, claiming that less than two weeks after the shooting, he started giving away real estate he owns to a Los Angeles couple to shield it from legal damages. A judge Thursday ordered the transactions to stop.
UPDATE, APRIL 24, 5:04 P.M.: The judge Tuesday converted a restraining order blocking the Elkus land transfers to a preliminary injunction. That further prevents the sale of seven properties worth $3 million he owns in Huntington Beach, Lake Forest, Lake Elsinore and Wildomar.