LOS ANGELES — A judge refused to grant a new trial for a gang member who claimed that a now-suspended police officer forced him to pose for a photograph that was used to help convict him of murder.
Arian Cida's defense argued that the picture was prejudicial, but Superior Court Judge Terry Green ruled Monday that the officer's testimony about the photograph was only tangential to the case.
Cida was convicted Sept. 22 of the 1997 robbery-murder of a man at a bus stop.
During the trial, Officer Michael Montoya testified that he took the photo of Cida flashing 18th Street gang signs with two friends at a Venice gang hangout.
Cida claimed Montoya threatened to plant a gun used in a murder on Cida unless he posed.
Montoya was among a dozen current and former Rampart division officers suspended with pay in connection with a probe into allegations that officers framed innocent people and shot unarmed suspects.
Cida was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, but the judge delayed it so that Cida could receive a psychiatric evaluation.