Chris Walsh was known as the Chatsworth enforcer. He hung around the porn industry for many years (particularly around the Perainos and Arrow Productions).
Somewhere between the time David Steinberg helped Chris Walsh move out of his apartment and the day Walsh ended up shot five times and stuffed in a trash can, their friendship went south.
Or so went the dramatic tale that opened Steinberg’s murder trial Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court downtown. Once described by his former attorney as a kiddie gangster, the 39-year-old Granada Hills man is now balding in a rumpled gray suit, accused of executing Walsh, his former housemate, in 2003.
The prosecution opened its case against Steinberg and co-defendant Jeffrey Weaver, 37, promising a story involving a member of the Nazi Lowriders prison gang and “people with dark hearts.”
The defense shot back that the prosecution’s star witness, an informant known as “Shankster Gangster,” was lying to cover up his own guilt in Walsh’s slaying.
Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Sparagna populated her case with a cast of characters with such names as Mouse and Irish Mike, building to a chilling scene in which Steinberg’s girlfriend found a blue, city-issued trash can in her Van Nuys storage unit.
Encased in bubble wrap, duct tape and plastic, the trash can gave off a foul odor. The girlfriend called the authorities, who cut it open to discover its grisly cargo – a decomposed Walsh.
But before he wound up in the Erwin Street storage unit July 2, 2003, Walsh, 37, took up residence in a Chatsworth town house. When he decided to move out, he asked Steinberg to help with his cumbersome, $5,000 sectional couch Jan. 29, 2003.