SANTA ANA (CNS) – A 42-year-old man was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing two women after a New Year’s Eve party in Westminster and then dumping their bodies in Newport Beach.
Christopher Ken Ireland was convicted Nov. 17 of two counts of first- degree murder and one count of arson with jurors also finding true special circumstance allegations of committing more than one murder.
Ireland was convicted of killing 59-year-old Yolanda Holtrey and her 49-year-old friend and co-worker, Michelle Luke of Huntington Beach on Jan. 1, 2017.
Ireland, his wife and their son attended a New Year’s Eve party at Holtrey’s home at 5022 Northwestern Way in Westminster, according to court records.
Ireland and his family left the party about 1:30 a.m., but he returned wearing a ski mask and gloves just before 3 a.m. and killed the two women and later set fire to the home before putting their bodies, wrapped in a blanket, into his vehicle, according to police.
Ireland drove to Newport Beach and dumped the bodies near a loading dock at 2300 Ford Road in Newport Beach, where police also found Holtrey’s phone, police said.
The Huntington Beach real estate agent was seen removing a surveillance video camera from the home, but overlooked another one, police said. He was also seen on a neighbor’s surveillance camera returning to the home, police said.
Ireland’s wife worked with the victims at the Huntington Beach Stein Mart store, police said.