Andre Davids, left, and Kurtland Ma
Andre Davids, left, and Kurtland Ma

A 38-year-old man was convicted today of voluntary manslaughter for fatally stabbing his boyfriend at the West Hollywood apartment they briefly shared.

The Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated about two days before acquitting Andre Davids of the more serious charge of second-degree murder for the March 29, 2014, stabbing death of Kurtland Ma, a 34-year-old emergency room doctor.

Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee called it “absolutely one of the most gruesome crime scenes that I or the homicide detectives have ever seen.”

Ma suffered about 40 stab wounds and was “disemboweled,” with some of his organs, including his penis, stuffed into his mouth and pill bottles and pills shoved into his body cavity, in a killing motivated by Ma’s decision to break up with Davids, the prosecutor said. Ma, an emergency medicine specialist who graduated from Yale University School of Medicine in 2008, had moved to West Hollywood from New York City. He is a native of Scottsdale, Ariz. He posted an announcement of his relationship with Davis on Facebook in September 2013.

Davids, who was found by Sheriff’s deputies inside a bathroom in the apartment at 939 Palm Ave., appeared to have taken a large amount of pills, authorities said. He was arrested the next day.

Davids is facing up to 12 years in state prison, with sentencing set for Jan. 21 at the Airport Branch Courthouse.

39 thoughts on “Boyfriend Found Guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter in Kurtland Ma Killing”

  1. How in the Hell was this horrible human being not charged with murder/special circumstances? What are we not getting here? There has to be more to this story…
    Hank- do you know? I feel just doesn’t make sense. I lost a family member to a “2nd degree” murder and while it was horrific for us the horrid details pale in comparison.

    Lesser charges? 12 years? I’m shocked; and heartbroken for Ma’s family. Talk about an injustice. Textbook example. No? What am I missing?

  2. I have never seen photos previously of the two involved. However they both look very familiar although I no longer frequent the Boys Town area where the slayings took place. Years ago I lived in one of the Craftsmen Cottages just down the street and prior to the apartment building being built. It was a great and safe neighborhood at that time and not far from where I and my other half worked at separate businesses.

    I lived thru a very hostile relationship prior to the one I was in for twenty years which ended in the death of my wonderful lover whom I still miss fifteen years later.

    From the details of this story manslaughter and the potential sentence Mr. Davis will be getting away with a crime that I would think should have been Murder in the First Degree with Life Imprisonment. This was not just rejection on the part of the victim towards Mr. Davis, this was a brutal murder perhaps ending a very brutal relationship. Escape can be difficult, I know from experience.

  3. Will he get even less time for good behavior? Something is really wrong with this. I’d like to hear the justification for so little time for such a crime. What are the sentencing guidelines?

  4. It is also murder with special circumstances, premeditated murder and a half dozen other charges the Jury should have had the opportunity to select. Sounds to me like a very lazy District Attorney and an apathetic Jury. Possibly even a homophobic Jury. Don’t forget that Gay on Gay crimes are not treated as seriously in the Court system and by Law enforcement as Straight on Straight crimes. Imagine if a man did that to a woman. He would have gotten life in prison. These are times when I wish we had writers like Truman Capote around who would investigate and write about this. The only silver lining is the guy will be beaten to death in prison. There is another thing to consider. There is a very serious drug problem in WEHO. The worst I have seen in 20 years. People from Hollywood buy their drugs in WEHO. The Sheriff’s department should have a special drug unit in WEHO, but City Council won’t even talk about the drug problem.

  5. 12 years likely was the maximum sentence (rarely imposed) for the crime for which he was convicted, so likely nothing more was possible. The story on why they couldn’t convict on a higher charge is what would be interesting to learn.

  6. Also note – as I understand it, a prosecutor has to agree to a lesser change being on the table, at least by the time of deliberation. If the state allowed the chance of voluntary homicide, it had to be with their guessing they might not be able to prove 2nd degree murder. Again, it seems inconceivable from what we know, but we clearly do not know many of the details. And if this came from one or two holdouts, as opposed to a really divided jury, they might have preferred to retrial.

  7. I think we need to make some big NOISE about this! Davids will be 50 when he is released (if not sooner for good behavior) and he can have many years of a good life ahead of him. This is just wrong! Really wrong!

  8. BlueEyedBoy – in this case, there is nothing more that can be done. It is adjudicated and finished. He cannot be retried, he can not be resentenced. That’s the way, for mostly better than worse, our system works. Again, I wish we had more details so we can make an informed, rather than emotional, judgment.

  9. This is A disgusting and horrible flagrance of law by the jury system! How can someone who commits the most heinous crime in west Hollywood and yes Gay on Gay Homicide IS A real thing, that this looks like a murder out of Jeffrey Dahmer’s Playbook. Andre Davids deserved Life in Prison and shall I say deserved the Death Penalty! How can this possessive boyfriend of one year cut a body up cut off a penis and shave it in a mouth and cut out organs and guts! This man was deranged and liked watching horror films to get ideas. Don’t be surprised he he could have done this before without getting caught who knows what he was capable of doing in the past! This man Andre Davids evaded justice because of insanity or heat if passion, this murder was calculated cunning and premeditated how stupid was this jury as graphic and heinous the details. Someone obviously did not think this through or the jury is plain stupid or a jury of peers his age or in his racial demographic!

  10. WEHOville, thank you for covering this story. I have searched for other media coverage, to no avail.

    Doesn’t the public have the right to an explanation as to why he was convicted of such a lesser charge, for such a heinous crime, with a small maximum sentence? Is there anything you can dig up? The public really deserves to know what happened here. Where/what was the breakdown?

  11. I recall hearing about the murder, but not in such horrifying detail. It made me recoil to read that. My only guess is that he got some reduced sentence because he was under the influence of drugs at the time of the murder. But that’s only a guess, there is obviously something really wrong with a 12 year sentence for this appalling incident. At the time of the murder I would have been living across the street on Palm from these two people. Just chilling and so sad that a relationship could turn into this. And chilling to think that this man will be back in the community in 12 years or less. Just unbelievable…

  12. Plus Kirkland was a doctor, a person who contributed much more to our society than the average person, yet his murderer only serves 12 years. I’m sure race played a role in this as well. If Ma was White who was killed by a black person, the negro probably would’ve received the death penalty or a life sentence at the very least. Remember the story in Colorado where a White woman was stabbed to death by a person of color, he got the death penalty. We now have 1 less emergency room doctor to save our pathetic lives, compared to his.

  13. There is no reason to believe the sentence was lighter because the victim was Asian. Oh, and by the way, humans don’t have more value just because they are doctors.

  14. This is a tragic and senseless murder. My husband is also Asian and I am Black– we are both horrified and shocked at both the crime and the maximum sentence that can now be imposed. Domestic violence must be treated with the same level of seriousness regardless of gay or straight relationships.

    Two people with full lives ahead of them should have simply parted ways and gone on to new lives. However, nothing justifies the taking of a life, and in such a horrific murder. It is the mark of truly mentally disturbed person. If the death penalty cannot be imposed, he should be confined in prison for life. My heart and prayers go out to the Kurtland’s family and loved ones, and Andre’s family whom now must live with the burden of such heinous crime.

  15. I’m tired of hearing you guys talking. Get the facts then talk. You guys don’t know the half of the story. You guys have half a story and u keep running with it. FACTS that why he wasn’t convicted of murder. Did u guys went to the courthouse?

  16. No, Troy, I didn’t “went” to the courthouse, but no one here has done anything more than question what clearly calls for more information. If you’re so tired of “hearing” us talking about it, why did you keep listening …. er … reading it? If we don’t have half the information, I infer that you have have the other half. So why don’t you fill us in?

  17. Yes, I asked Wehoville specifically if they could dig up what happened in this trial, as no other publication seems to be reporting anything about this case. Doesn’t the public deserve to know what machinations went through our legal system?

  18. All im saying is that there is two sides to every story. Its seems that you have no faith in our judicial system blue eyed boy.

  19. I wonder why your first impulse is to give the murderer the benefit of the doubt? Again, we here are merely asking the obvious question; how could such a heinous crime justify such a sentence? Maybe, if we heard the answer, we might understand it a little better.

  20. It is incredible that this guy is only getting 12 years. The reason he is only getting 12 years is because the jury only found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter and not murder. I guess his defense was that he was enraged when he found out that the guy had not been faithful to him and was breaking up with him. So he supposedly lost his temper in the moment. To me that is absurd. We are fully responsible for our behavior at all times. Losing your temper is no excuse to kill someone. If you kill someone, it shouldn’t matter whether you planned it for a few days or you just did it because you lost your temper. You should be in prison for life either way.

  21. He should have received the death penalty. He cut off his penis and stuffed it into his mouth, murder is murder this only proves why the jury system doesn’t work anymore. Take a look at your local 7-Eleven or the post office and look at what kind of people are running around loose and not smart enough to get out of jury duty…do you want those deciding your fate? The system sucks. How they can give this guy 12 years for this murder is beyond me. He will probably get paroled and kill his next partner in a jealous rage when he finds out what kind of a sociopath this guy is.

  22. Folks!! Its murder, but!!! The city officials are trying to down play gay on gay crime. It’s bad for the city and LGBT. Therefore, lesser sentence of passion makes love apart of gay friendly. It’s not rocket science.

  23. This is horrible !!! only 12 years !! !???? kidding me ? My friend Kurtland Ma did not deserve this. That guy must be having the biggest smile ever on his face now !

  24. I hope Mr Ma soul can rest in peace now. My sympathy going out to the Ma family.As for Mr Davids i he is sorry for what he has done. That cannot bring back Mr Ma live but i no he is sorry.

  25. Even if you think there are two sides to every story, what could a human being possibly do to deserve the type of torture and death that Andre Davids inflicted upon Dr. Ma? This is the problem with sentencing laws in the United States. You could end up serving more time for burglary or drug possession. When Andre Davids gets out and kills someone else, then what will this jury say to that victim’s family?

Leave a ReplyYour Comment (300-400 words maximum please). No profanity, and please focus on the issue rather than attacking other commenters.