A man charged with killing a sailor 32 years ago in Point Loma posted $500,000 bond Aug. 26 after a judge changed his no bail status after he was extradited here from Tennessee.
Deputy District Attorney Lisa Fox opposed the bail reduction for Brian Scott Koehl, now 51, who is charged with killing Larry Joe Breen, 32, whose nude body was found outside his home on May 25, 1990.
“It was a very violent murder,” said Fox, adding there were bloodstains on the wall after Breen was stabbed several times in the neck.
Fox told San Diego Superior Court Judge Laura Halgren that DNA solved the case and that Koehl had admitted to being in the Point Loma house where Breen had rented.
Koehl’s DNA was found on a counter, in the shower, and on beer bottles found in the house, said Fox. She asked that $2 million bail be set in the Aug. 23 hearing.
Breen was a petty officer and cook and was stationed aboard the USS Fox CG-33 at the time. Koehl was 19 years old and in the Navy also at the time. He has pleaded not guilty.
Koehl told police he attended an event at Breen’s house where others were there and left in Breen’s car. He returned the next day only to find Breen’s body, and he quickly got rid of the car and never reported the homicide to Navy authorities, according to the prosecutor.
“He is happily married to his wife. They have three children,” said Koehl’s attorney, Alicia Freeze, to the judge. “He has no record. There is no danger. He is a hard worker.”
“Mr. Koehl is held in very high regard,” said Freeze, adding that she presented a packet of 26 letters to the judge in support of her client by his friends and neighbors in Tennessee.
“He wants to do the right thing,” said Freeze. “He follows the rules.”
Freeze suggested bail be set at $500,000, and Halgren said that was a reasonable amount.
The prosecutor asked that Koehl’s passport be surrendered.
A November 17 preliminary hearing was set.
Koehl has worked for a food company for 22 years after he was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1997. The 26 letters submitted included comments from his children, other relatives, friends, co-workers, among others, and they stressed he was of good character and unlikely to have ever committed a homicide.