Easy Reader Staff

Manhattan Beach man guilty of murdering wife 13 years ago

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Marine Place, where the murder took place. Photo by Caroline Anderson

Marine Place, where the murder took place. Photo by Caroline Anderson

A Manhattan Beach man was found guilty on April 6 of murdering his wife 13 years ago in their Gaslamp District house.

After a six-day trial, a Torrance jury decided that Bill Lawrence Gallup, 68, shot and killed his wife Oliva in their Marine Place home on July 5, 2003 before turning the gun on himself. The gun fired, damaging his face and brain, but he lived.

A case was filed less than a month after the incident, but Gallup was declared mentally incompetent in 2006 and sent to a psychiatric institute, Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino.

Last year, a mental health court found Gallup competent to stand trial.

Gallup’s attorney Alec Rose said that he contested that finding in court.

“I, on behalf of Mr. Gallup and his conservator, protested declaring him competent and tried to convince the court otherwise,” Rose said. (Rose declined to name the conservator.)

Rose was unsuccessful, and the case resumed.

According to a press release from the district attorney’s office, “On July 5, 2003, the victim returned to her two-story home accompanied by her sister after running some errands and noticed the defendant was playing loud music upstairs, the prosecutor said. When the wife went upstairs to get her husband to lower the music, out of concern for the neighbors, they got into an argument which ended with the defendant shooting at his wife three times, according to evidence presented at trial.”

Debris hit Oliva after the first shot, the press release said. She fell to her knees after a second shot hit her chest. Gallup then fired into her right eye at close range, according to the district attorney’s office, and then shot himself twice in the head.

When police arrived, they found him on the bed.

Gallup faces 50 years to life in prison, according to the district attorney’s office, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Apr. 22. ER

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