Former doctor sentenced for attempted murder of Newport Beach attorney.
A former doctor has been sentenced to eight years to life in state prison with the possibility of parole after a jury found him guilty of attempting to kill a Newport Beach attorney.
Richard Lee Austin, 69, received the sentence on Friday at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana. Austin was convicted in September last year of attempted murder. He was convicted in a previous trial in 2018 of the stalking and attempted kidnapping of attorney Limor Lehavi.
Austin was previously tried for attempted murder, but two juries were unable to agree on if Austin intended to murder Lehavi when he confronted her with a gun at her office.
The origins of the case date back years, beginning with an altercation that Austin had with another driver following a car accident. The driver claimed damages.
Austin then sued his car insurance company, arguing that his policy should have covered the costs. Lehavi defended the insurance company and won.
Austin then filed a lawsuit against Lehavi personally, which she won.
Prosecutors said that Austin became “obsessed” with Lehavi.
In 2017, Austin appeared at Lehavi’s office in Newport Beach after she switched firms and called to the office under a pseudonym several times. Lehavi said last year that he claimed he was from Chicago and had been referred to her, but her receptionist saw his caller ID and alerted Lehavi.
Worried about her and her family’s safety, Lehavi said she was accompanied by her coworkers to her car. There, she saw Austin in a rental car. He took off when he saw Lehavi with her coworkers, who then called the police to report the incident.
Austin was arrested in May that year. He is next scheduled to appear in court on April 5 for a hearing on the relinquishment of firearms.