Hurwitz sentenced to eight years on drug, illegal money charges
Portland murderer Larry Hurwitz was sentenced to eight years in prison on drug and illegal money charges in California on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
Hurwitz was arrested with two kilos of cocaine and more than $328,000 in cash in Huntington Beach on June 27 of last year. Hurwitz was previously convicted of murdering Tim Moreau in Portland in 1990. At the time, Moreau worked for Hurwitz at the Starry Night rock club, which he owned.
Hurwitz has been in jail in California since his arrest. Oregon County Superioe Court Judge Scott Steiner ruled that he will receive credit for that time but must serve 80% of the remaining sentence before being eligible for parole because of the murder conviction.
When Hurwitz is released in California, he must be returned to Multnomah County to face up to six months in jail for violating parole. Hurwitz is prohibited from visiting California because that is where Moreau's family lives.
Hurwitz's attorney in California had moved to suppress the evidence in the case, including the cocaine, cash and all of his statements. He argued that the traffic stop during which Hurwitz was arrested was unconstitutional. Prosecutors countered that it was legal.
In the end, Hurwitz accepted a plea bargain agreement. The judge made Hurwitz affirm that every count in the charging documents was true before confirming the deal. It is unclear what will happen to the cash.
Hurwitz was previously denied pre-trial release in California because he had left the country while suspected of killing Moreau. He refused to voluntarily return from Vietnam after being indicted on federal tax evasion charges and was only deported back to Portland after his passport was revoked.
"We continue to hold Larry Hurwitz accountable for the murder of our son Tim. His prior conviction for the murder of our son Tim and his numerous parole violations in Oregon had the effect of increasing his prison sentence for his most recent convictions. When he completes his sentence in California, we expect him to be returned to Oregon to face the Oregon Parole Board for his numerous parole violations.in Oregon," Mike and Penny Moreau told the Portland Tribune after the sentencing.
Hurwitz killed Moreau to cover up a financial scandal at his club. Moreau had moved to Portland from New Orleans to attend Reed College, and had taken a leave of absence to work at Starry Night. Hurwitz hid the body so well it has never been found.
Hurwitz was not convicted of the murder until after he pleaded guilty to the tax evasion charges in 1998. Only then did former associates begin telling authorities what they knew about Hurwitz's involvement in the murder, which finally resulted in his conviction in 1999 — nine years after the killing. Hurwitz struck a plea bargain agreement and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Hurwitz was arrested on the California charges after being pulled over for talking on a cell phone while driving. According to the arrest report, the officer thought Hurwitz was acting extremely nervously, and a grocery bag with a large amount of cash was clearly visible in the back seat of his car. The officer also smelled burnt marijuana. A subsequent search of the car turned up the cocaine in one grocery bag and the cash in two others.
Hurwitz originally denied knowing anything about the drugs or money. But in a subsequent interview after being arrested, Hurwitz said the cash belonged to him. He claimed he earned it as a "producer" in Portland in the 1980s and 1990s and had taken it out of a Merrill Lynch account. The police did not believe Hurwitz, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security seized it as illegal drug profits.
Hurwitz pleaded no contest to murdering Moreau in 1999 and then confirmed the overwhelming evidence against him to settle a civil wrongful death suit brought by his victim's parents in 2001. Hurwitz also agreed to pay the Moreaus $3 million for the death, but has only paid a small fraction of that since being released in 2008.
After being released from prison in Oregon in 2008, Hurwitz was repeatedly caught traveling out of state without permission by Multnomah County Parole and Probation officials, who are charged with supervising him. He has been placed on house arrest, required to wear a GPS monitoring device and made to perform community service, according to post-release supervision records obtained by the Portland Tribune through a public records request.
Although Hurwitz was required to wear a GPS device as recently as December 2018, he was not wearing one when he was arrested in California.
You can read previous stories about the case here.
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