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Pedro Espinoza Sentenced to Death for killing Jamiel Shaw, Jr.

LOS ANGELES – A gang member was sentenced to death today for the 2008 murder of 17-year-old high school football player Jamiel Shaw Jr.

Pedro Espinoza, 23, was convicted on May 9 of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Shaw. Jurors also found true the special circumstance that it was a gang killing. They also found true allegations that the defendant personally and intentionally discharged a firearm causing the victim great bodily injury and death and that the murder was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.

On May 23, the same jury recommended that Espinoza be sentenced to death.

Espinoza shot and killed Shaw on March 2, 2008. Shaw was a senior and a star football player at Los Angeles High School. Prosecutors alleged that Espinoza shot Shaw to improve his status in a street gang.

Superior Court Judge Ronald Rose imposed the death sentence. In rejecting a defense request for a reduced sentence, Rose said that Espinoza murdered “a defenseless victim in cold blood” and bragged about it. The judge also noted that Espinoza “murdered the victim to further the activities of his gang.”

Deputy District Attorneys Robert Grace and Allyson Ostrowski prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.

–Source Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office

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