Los Angeles News
Jamiel Shaw murder trial: Closing arguments begin
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Closing arguments began Tuesday in the trial of a gang member accused of murdering a high school football standout in 2008.
Prosecutors urged jurors to convict 23-year-old Pedro Espinoza, calling the shooting of 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw a cold-blooded execution.
Deputy District Attorney Allyson Ostrowski recounted evidence that EspinoSa targeted Shaw presuming he was a rival gang member because he was black, lived in Bloods gang territory and was carrying a Spiderman back pack that was red, the color tied to the Bloods.
Espinoza's 18th Street gang tattoos were shown again. The number is all over his body, along with a smoking gun on his forearm.
The prosecutor repeated Espinoza's profanity-laced statements to friends in the alleged getaway car. According to prosecutors, Espinoza said he was going to wipe out the Bloods.
"They reflect what was going on in his head and what was a part of his mindset at the time he committed the murder," Ostrowski said.
Espinoza's gang ties in this homicide make him eligible for the death penalty.
In Espinoza's defense, public defender Csaba Palfi stressed inconsistencies in witness testimony. He noted that Espinoza, who was on probation at the time of the shooting, did not flee Los Angeles, but did what an innocent man would do.
"He went into the lion's den, you go to LAPD to try to register as a gang member," Palfi said. "That is the opposite of flight."
Palfi at one point briefly broke down, telling the jury to put aside their bias and prejudice.
The Shaw family says it's their son the jury should remember.
"He wasn't just a piece of meat. He lived here, he was breathing, he deserved to walk the street with a Spiderman back pack on without being murdered," said Shaw's father, Jamiel Shaw Sr. "It's just unacceptable."
Jurors will begin deliberating on Wednesday.
immigration, murder, shooting, los angeles news, miriam hernandez
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