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Special Circumstances

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 5, 1991
A jury in Pasadena Superior Court that convicted George Marvin Trone Jr. of murder deadlocked on Wednesday on special circumstances findings, under which Trone could be sentenced to death. The jury found Trone, 21, of Pasadena, guilty last week of robbing, sexually assaulting and murdering Lois Haro, 26, of Pasadena, after abducting her from a shopping mall in 1988. Judge Charles C.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
A 28-year-old parolee has been charged with murder in connection with a shooting that left two men dead at a Lancaster party, authorities said Monday. Leo Jerome Johnson is accused of shooting Nicky Packard , 33, and Michael Sewell , 22, after the three men began arguing at the June 23 party, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Johnson left the party and returned. He brandished a handgun and shot Packard three times and Sewell once in the chest, Sheriff's Department officials said in a statement.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 1991
A judge on Thursday dismissed special circumstance allegations that could have resulted in the death penalty for a man charged with setting fire to three robbery victims, killing two of them, in January, 1989. Los Angeles Municipal Judge Elva Soper said there was insufficient evidence for the special circumstance allegations to stand against Derek Jerome Bloodworth, 26.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2011 | By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
A jury in Van Nuys finds Martin Sotelo, a Latino, guilty of first-degree murder with two special circumstance allegations — murder due to the victim's race, and murder in a drive-by shooting — in the slaying of a black bowling alley worker. A 26-year-old Latino was convicted Thursday in the racially motivated killing of a black Canoga Park bowling alley employee in 2008. A jury in Van Nuys deliberated less than three hours before finding Martin Sotelo, the last of four defendants to face charges in the case, guilty of first-degree murder with two special circumstance allegations — murder due to the victim's race, and murder in a drive-by shooting.
NEWS
April 3, 1985 | RICHARD EDER, Times Book Critic
The War Diaries of Jean-Paul Sartre, translated by Quintin Hoare (Pantheon: $17.95) France, along with Britain, declared war on Germany upon the latter's invasion of Poland in September, 1939; and then waited eight months for Germany to attack her. It was an odd situation, featuring the more or less peaceable coexistence of French and German troops facing each other across the border. An occasional patrol, venturing too far, would be seized, questioned and sent back.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 1987 | JOHN KENDALL, Times Staff Writer
A Hacienda Heights physician accused of strangling and dismembering his 11-year-old son pleaded not guilty in Pomona Municipal Court Wednesday and won dismissal of a "special circumstances" charge calling for the death penalty. But it was only a first-round victory for Dr. Khalid Parwez, 38, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in West Los Angeles. The prosecutor said he will battle in higher court to seek either death or life in prison for Parwez.
NEWS
September 8, 1991 | PHIL SNEIDERMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Pasadena Superior Court jury that deadlocked over a death penalty issue last week dealt a setback to a 1988 murder case that already has been the focus of two trials. Deputy Dist. Atty. Walter H. Lewis said he will consult with the family of the victim, Lois Haro, before deciding whether to seek another penalty-phase trial before a new panel of jurors. Haro's parents and husband have attended all court proceedings in the case.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 9, 1987 | JERRY HICKS
Not everyone convicted of first-degree murder in California is sentenced to death. Capital punishment is reserved for cases involving special circumstances. Under California law, those special circumstances include murder during the commission of a felony, such as robbery or rape; multiple murder; murder for hire or other financial gain; murder of a police officer, federal agent or fireman; murder by torture; murder by an explosive, and murder committed after lying in wait.
BUSINESS
June 22, 1990 | SAM JAMESON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Japan's agriculture minister said Thursday that he is prepared to resign, if necessary, rather than lift his country's ban on rice imports as part of a round of multilateral trade negotiations that end in December. Speaking at the Japan National Press Club, Tomio Yamamoto also rejected an American demand that Japan end its subsidies to farmers. He said he is "resolved to assume responsibility" if agricultural negotiations in the so-called Uruguay Round of trade talks "fail to go smoothly."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 1997 | GREG HERNANDEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Setting the stage for today's closing arguments, attorneys for murder defendant John J. Famalaro concluded their case Tuesday by attempting to refute the prosecution's contention that victim Denise Huber was kidnapped and sexually assaulted before her death. But outside court, the victim's mother said it is inconceivable to her that her 23-year-old daughter would have gone willingly with Famalaro to the Laguna Hills warehouse where the prosecution contends she was bludgeoned to death.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2010 | By My-Thuan Tran
A woman was convicted Tuesday in the bizarre killing of a Westminster fortuneteller and her daughter four years ago that prosecutors said was motivated by a spell that didn't work. After less than a day of deliberations, an Orange County jury found Tanya Nelson, 45, of North Carolina guilty of murder with special circumstances in the slayings of fortuneteller Ha Jade Smith, 52, and Anita Vo, 23. Nelson faces the death penalty at her sentencing hearing next week. Deputy Dist.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2009 | Andrew Blankstein
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office will seek the death penalty against the 20-year-old gang member charged with killing 17-year-old high school football star Jamiel Shaw II. Shaw was several doors from his Arlington Heights home on March 2, 2008, when two men in a car pulled up next to him, asked him if he belonged to a gang and then shot him when he apparently didn't answer, authorities say. Days later, police arrested the...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 2009 | Steve Chawkins
After hearing testimony for three days, a judge Wednesday said a gay junior high school student in Oxnard was fatally shot in class "with the cold-blooded precision of an executioner" and that 15-year-old Brandon McInerney should stand trial for the crime. Summing up evidence from investigators, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Ken Riley took note of McInerney's telling other students about his intent to kill Larry King, a 15-year-old who wore makeup, earrings and high heels to school.
OPINION
January 16, 2008
California is paying a heavy price for its get-tough-on-crime attitude, with an underfunded and overcrowded prison system, the nation's worst recidivism rate and a rotten international image as the state with the highest death row population. But of all the inequities of a dysfunctional penal system and harsh state laws, few can touch our predilection for discarding the lives of children who commit crimes before they're old enough to fully understand the consequences of their actions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A grand jury indictment unsealed Friday adds special circumstances allegations against a man accused of raping and murdering a pregnant Costa Mesa woman in 1988, making him potentially eligible for a death sentence. Jason Michael Balcom, 36, was charged with murder for allegedly killing Malinda Gibbons, 22, during the commission of sodomy, attempted rape, robbery, and burglary, according to Orange County prosecutors. Balcom was arrested in 2004 after a DNA hit allegedly linked him to the crime.
OPINION
October 16, 2005 | Steven E. Smith, Steven E. Smith is a Woodland Hills bankruptcy attorney and author of the blog "Idiotarian Savant."
THE much-hyped federal bankruptcy reform legislation goes into effect Monday, and Congress is already debating whether to suspend or modify the draconian law so that people battered into hopelessness by the Gulf Coast hurricanes don't receive another economic beating. Other desperate Americans cannot count on such mercy. As the new law smashes into the nation's vulnerable economy, no one will escape suffering.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2003 | Andrew Blankstein and Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writers
After nine days of testimony, a Los Angeles judge is expected to decide today whether actor Robert Blake will stand trial on charges that he attempted to hire two Hollywood stuntmen to kill his wife, and then pulled the trigger himself. Superior Court Judge Lloyd M. Nash also will decide if Blake, 69, is eligible for bail. He has been in jail for 11 months. "It's an important issue," Nash said as testimony wrapped up Thursday. "I want to deal with it directly."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2002 | ERIC BAILEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A jury in San Jose convicted a motel handyman Monday of murdering three Yosemite tourists, a crime that sent a wave of fear rippling through the state's forested outback in 1999. Cary Stayner, 41, could face the death penalty after being convicted of slaying Carole Sund of Eureka, her 15-year-old daughter, Juli, and Silvina Pelosso, 16, a family friend visiting from Argentina. The jury returned its verdict after less than six hours of deliberation over two days.
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