Second Man Sentenced to Prison in Grandmother's Stabbing Death

Leam Sovanasy was meditating in her Long Beach home when she was attacked in January 2009

A second man convicted in the stabbing death of a 76-year-old woman seven years ago in her Long Beach home was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Freddie James Battle, 27, was convicted along with co-defendant Daniia Lasean Davis, 27, in the Jan. 31, 2009, killing of Leam Sovanasy. Sovanasy, a Cambodian immigrant who survived the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, was a mother of seven and a grandmother of 20 described by family members as the "center of our universe."

She was meditating Jan. 31, 2009 in her Long Beach home when two men entered the residence through a window and attacked. The men were believed to have been burglarizing homes and pawning stolen merchandise, police said.

The case went cold until July 2013 when investigators received a tip about a white 1990s Chevy Caprice sedan seen near the crime scene. Composite sketches of two men suspected in the killing and a $10,000 reward for information in the case led to more leads, but it was a phone call to police from Davis that eventually led to the arrests.

Davis called investigators, saying that he looked like one of the subjects in the sketches, in an attempt to fish for information, authorities said. Davis and Battle were linked to the Chevy with traffic citations.

DNA was then used to connect the men to the crime, police said. Davis also was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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