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Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF

COMPTON : Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in Killing of 2 Officers

April 16, 1993

A 22-year-old man pleaded not guilty Thursday to the murder of two Compton policemen during a traffic stop in February. He could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

Regis Deon Thomas of San Pedro also pleaded not guilty to an unrelated January, 1992, murder. Compton Municipal Court Commissioner John Ladner ordered Thomas back in court May 24 for setting a preliminary hearing date.

Officers Kevin Michael Burrell, 29, and James Wayne MacDonald, 23, were shot to death Feb. 22 after stopping a pickup truck at a Compton intersection. Thomas surrendered last week.

He was held for about four months last year during an investigation of the murder of Compton resident Carlos Adkins, but was released after a key witness was killed.

Thomas was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle. He was convicted of perjury in 1990, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Mark Arnold. MacDonald was killed during his last shift on the job. The reserve officer planned to work on the San Jose police force. Burrell joined the Compton department as a 15-year-old Explorer Scout and had been a full-time officer since 1988.

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