Cruise Ship Murder History – Kocontes Murder Trial
According to court documents, “Lonnie Loren Kocontes and Micki Kanesaki were married in 1995 after meeting in a legal office where they both were employed; he as a lawyer in the firm; she as an office receptionist.
The coupled divorced in 2001, after Kocontes was charged with having sexual contact with a minor. The divorce was allegedly obtained in order to protect assets from potential civil litigation against Kocontes related to the sexual contact case. Kocontes and Kanesaki continued to live together as a couple. Kocontes later sued the victim’s family and won.
The couple then separated in 2005. In July 2005, Kocontes married school teacher Amy Dao Nguyen. They bought a home in Orange, but two months later, Kocontes filed for divorce. There were reports which stated that Kocontes wanted to sell the Ladera Ranch home he owned with Kanesaki, but she would not cooperate. Nguyen later said her marriage to Kocontes, turned into a quick divorce as part of plan to murder Kanesaki, use the money from the sell of her assets to fund a new life with Nguyen.
However, Kocontes claimed that he and Kanesaki decided to renew their relationship with a Mediterranean cruise. The couple went from their Ladera Ranch, California home to Spain. They boarded the cruise ship Island Escape for a Memorial Day week-long cruise on May 23, 2006.
On May 28, 2006, about 20 miles off the coast of Vibo Valentia, a boat crew discovered the decomposing body of Kanesaki floating in the sea.
An autopsy was performed in Italy on June 7, 2006, with forensic evidence resulting in a conclusion that Kanesaki died by strangulation in a homicidal assault.
The FBI claimed the 5’4” tall, Orange County, California attorney battered, strangled, then threw his tiny ex-wife off their cruise ship balcony in the middle of the night.
The FBI knew about Kocontes criminal past before he became a California attorney and believed he committed the crime for monetary gain. Kocontes was not new to crimes for financial gain. Nebraska prison records show Kocontes was convicted for three felonies including drug trafficking and Burglary in 1976 and another drug trafficking charge in 1981.
However, when he tried to get a Nebraska State Pardon for those felony crimes so he could be admitted to the Florida Bar in order to sue somebody in Florida, it was denied on June 5, 2008. Nebraska State Pardon board weighed all the evidence of previous crimes and alleged misdeeds as an attorney when denying the pardon.
Kocontes was never admitted to the Florida Bar after moving from California to Florida during the FBI investigation. Though Kocontes did buy a home in Florida where he lived with this third wife until his arrest by the Pasco Sheriff office.
On Valentines Day, February 14, 2013, Kocontes was arrested by the Pasco Sheriff’s office in Florida, held to stand trial in California for the murder of Micki Kanesaki. Kocontes arrived at Theo Lacy Facility Jail in Orange County, California on March 7, 2013, where he has been every since.
Then, on May 2015, while still in jail, according to prosecutors, Kocontes hired two inmates to kill second wife Amy Nguyen. One of the two inmates told his lawyer about the alleged plot and new charges were filed. Kocontes now faces two counts of solicitation to commit murder and one count of solicitation to bribe a witness.
Today, is Kocontes’ 60th birthday and he will likely still be in jail on February 14, 2018, having awaited the murder trial for five years.
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Video: Romantic cruise gone wrong: Ex-wife killed, third wife targeted?