Florida lawyer charged with ship slaying

Feb. 16, 2013 at 2:46 PM

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Florida police have arrested a lawyer for allegedly killing his ex-wife during an Italian cruise and dumping her body overboard in 2006.

Lonnie Loren Kocontes, 55, of Safety Harbor, Fla., in Orange County, was charged Friday with one count of felony special circumstances murder for financial gain. Prosecutors said Kocontes killed his ex-wife, Micki Kanesaki, by strangling her and dumping her body overboard. Her remains washed up on an island off Italy's coast, police said.

Kocontes allegedly profited from the killing by taking sole possession of several joint bank accounts and from the sale of Kanesaki's home, which the couple sometimes still shared, the Orange County District Attorney's office said.

The FBI investigated several bank transfers and eventually took possession of some $1 million in Kocontes' assets.

If convicted Kocontes faces a minimum of life in prison without parole. He is eligible for the death penalty under Florida law, should prosecutors seek it.

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