The heir to a Canadian real estate fortune pleaded not guilty to carving up his girlfriend and leaving her bloodless body behind in their West Hollywood apartment.
Struggling screenwriter Blake Leibel, the 35-year-old son of a Toronto tycoon, is facing the death penalty for the first-degree murder of his gal pal, Iana Kasian, who was found lifeless in their barricaded home.
“Kasian was tortured and mutilated before she was killed and all of her blood was drained from her body,” prosecutor Tannaz Mokayef said after Tuesday’s court appearance.
Los Angeles police busted through the door of their apartment, which was blocked by hand-built barricades, last Thursday after Kasian’s mother reported her missing.
The 30-year-old Ukrainian woman, who has a young child with Leibel, showed signs of “sustained blunt force trauma” on her body, which was unresponsive when police arrived.
Leibel — who has written for various comic books, including “United Free Worlds,” “Operation Redux” and “Moon Lake” — was arrested last week and taken out in handcuffs as neighbors looked on.
He also wrote for the “Spaceballs” animated series, and was working on a Fox comedy about marijuana legalization with Mark Wahlberg and Steven Levinson.
“He looked deranged. His legs were bruised. His face was puffy,” one neighbor told The Toronto Star.
Leibel’s lawyer claims he is suffering from mental health issues, prompting LA Judge Keith Schwartz to order a psych evaluation.
In recent years, Leibel has been reliant on his family’s fortune — from his father’s company, Canada Homes Inc. — and filed to be the sole beneficiary of his mother’s will after she died from brain cancer in 2011.
“Blake needed money,” documents from Ontario Superior Court said, according to The Star. “The evidence shows that both Lorne and Eleanor [Blake’s parents] were sending him money to continue to live in California in a home that had also been provided by Eleanor’s largesse.”
He later got a hefty inheritance of $1.7 million, which he received in monthly installments.
Just a week before Kasian’s murder, Leibel was arrested for sexual assault and was released the same day after posting $100,000 bail.
He was not eligible for bail for this case, and is set to be back in court June 14.