A man already serving life in prison for a triple murder was sentenced Tuesday to death in the shotgun slaying of Julie Cross, the only female Secret Service agent to die in the line of duty.
After handing down the sentence, Superior Court Judge Charles Horan ordered the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to deliver Andre Alexander, 44, to San Quentin's death row within 10 days.
Alexander's attorney had asked the judge to modify the jury's death penalty recommendation to life in prison without the possibility of parole, but Horan refused, noting that Alexander already is serving a life sentence for a triple murder.
"The only appropriate penalty is the death penalty," Horan said.
Alexander was charged with Cross' slaying in October 1992, two years after his arrest for the murder of a printer, his girlfriend and another man involved in a counterfeit money order scheme. Alexander killed the three in the belief that the printer was preparing to go to the police, authorities said.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Lester Kuriyama, who prosecuted Alexander for both the triple murder and the slaying of Cross, called Alexander a "very, very violent career criminal.
"For two decades he's been committing crimes. He's killed four people and tried to kill two others. Even in jail he attacked and choked a deputy sheriff. He can't even get along in jail, let alone out here in society."
Cross was killed in 1980 while she and her partner, Lloyd Bulman, were investigating a counterfeiting operation near Los Angeles International Airport.
They were staking out a house, waiting for the approval of a search warrant, when two men approached, apparently planning to rob them. Cross somehow was disarmed in an ensuing scuffle.
Alexander grabbed the agents' shotgun that was on the front seat of their sedan, investigators said, and fired twice at Cross.
Alexander's partner, who is still at large, wrestled with Bulman, authorities said. Alexander then ran around to the other side of the car and fired at Bulman.
Cross, 26, grew up in San Diego County and spent three years as a San Diego police officer. She joined the Secret Service in October 1979. On June 1, 1980, she transferred to the agency's Los Angeles anti-counterfeit squad. She was killed three days later.
Alexander was charged with the crime after a lengthy investigation by Det. Richard Henry of the Los Angeles Police Department. Henry went to high school with Alexander and noticed the resemblance between his former classmate and a composite drawing of Cross' killer.
The victim's brother, Peter Cross, a San Diego County deputy district attorney, told the judge that "asking for the life of another is not an easy thing to do. . . . But some conduct and some crimes are so inherently evil they simply speak for themselves."
Times wire services contributed to this story.