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Calif judge sets aside 124-year prison sentence for Max Factor heir Luster; new hearing set

A California judge on Monday set aside a 124-year prison sentence given to an heir to the Max Fax fortune who was convicted of drugging and raping three women.

Andrew Luster was granted a new sentencing hearing because the trial judge "failed to state specific reasons for imposing full consecutive sentences" as required by law, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Kathryne Ann Stoltz said in a 31-page ruling.

Luster, the great-grandson of cosmetics giant Max Factor, was on the lam when he was convicted in 2003 of drugging and raping three women. He was captured in Mexico that same year by bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman.

Luster, 49, previously sought to have his sentence reduced and a new trial. An evidentiary hearing was held last month.

Luster argued he was denied proper legal representation and given bad legal advice. He testified at the hearing that he fled to Mexico during his trial because his attorney and an investigator convinced him the local justice system was corrupt and suggested he run.

In her ruling, Stoltz rejected Luster's bid for a new trial and an attempt to void his conviction.

"In this case, this court believes that, overall, Luster received effective assistance of counsel," Stoltz said. "He got good legal advice explained in detail from more than one source. However, that advice wasn't what Luster wanted to hear."

A hearing was set for April 4.