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Convicted Killer of 2 Says He Deserves Death; Judge Agrees

March 05, 1995

A man sentenced to death Friday for the murder of a Maywood police officer and a Van Nuys grocery store clerk said he should be executed for his crimes.

"I deserve it," Edgardo Sanchez Fuentes, 24, told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jacqueline A. Connor and relatives of his victims during a lengthy hearing.

Connor sentenced Fuentes' co-defendants, Hector Reyna, whose real name is Benjamin Navarro, 24, and Jose Contreras, 22, to life imprisonment. Fuentes' death sentence will be automatically appealed to the state Supreme Court.

The three were convicted in October in the May 29, 1992, shooting death of Officer John Hoglund, a 16-year veteran who was the first officer in the Maywood Police Department's history to die in the line of duty.

Fuentes killed Hoglund, who had three daughters and was engaged to be remarried, when the 46-year-old officer arrived at a robbery in progress at George's Market, 4045 52nd St. Hoglund never made it out of his squad car or drew his service revolver.

Fuentes and Contreras also had been convicted of the May 4, 1992, murder of store clerk Lee Chul Kim. Contreras shot Kim to death during a robbery three weeks earlier, as the grocer clerk begged for his life, according to court testimony.

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