Michael Lamb, 34, a member of the Southern California gang Public Enemy No. 1, convicted and sentenced to Death for the murder of Scott Miller in 2002 in retaliation for giving away some of the gang's secrets. Lamb and codefendant Jacob Rump, 32, were convicted a year ago in Miller's murder and for trying to kill an undercover police officer who was on their trail after Miller was found dead in an Anaheim alley with a gunshot wound to the back of his head.
Alexander D. Lancaster aka Andrew Lancaster
Witnesses, primarily his two accomplices, testified that Andrew Lancaster kidnapped and shot Michael Taylor in a dispute over a transmitter and other equipment for a planned microwave radio station. Taylor, 45, was a former homeless resident of Los Angeles and an African American activist whohad hosted “Community Forum” on the left-leaning FM station. After leaving KPFK, he had planned to start an unlicensed radio station with two friends, Robert Marston and Tyrone Floyd, the pair testified.
Planned Radio Operation. Marston and Floyd explained that Lancaster, who also went by Hodari Lumumba but took the name Mustafa Ibn Talib after converting to Islam while in custody, was an associate of Mzee Shambulia, an activist who supposedly had offered to help fund the “people’s radio station.”
Marston said he and Taylor became concerned that Shambulia really did not want to work with them, and also that he wanted to start a commercial operation rather than a donor-financed, independent station, so they decided not to deliver any equipment to Shambulia’s group. When Shambulia sent Marston a $220 money order in April 1996, Marston returned it.
Taylor, Marston testified, told him that Lancaster had called him and threatened that “things would get rough” if they did not produce the equipment. A couple of days later, Taylor disappeared; a witness who heard gunshots called police, who found his body.
Daniel Gary Landry
Inmate Daniel Landry a reputed member of the Nazi Low Riders, fatally stabbed fellow inmate Daniel Addis on a prison recreation yard on Aug. 3, 1997. Landry was sentenced to death Sept. 11, 2001.
Kenneth Burton Lang Jr.
Convicted in 1984 of killing and robbing a hunter in the Los Padres National Forest a year earlier.
Dennis H. Lawley
On January 22, 1989, Brian Seabourn shot and killed Kenneth Lawton Stewart. In the years that followed, three men were held criminally accountable for Stewart’s death. Petitioner Dennis Harold Lawley was tried, convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances, and sentenced to death for hiring Brian Seabourn and Steven Mendonca to kill Stewart. Seabourn was tried and convicted of second degree murder.
Convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in 1980, in a case prosecuted by current Santa Clara County District Attorney George Kennedy, for the 1978 murder of Gabriel Flores, a gas station attendant Ledesma robbed and later killed after Flores identified him to police. That conviction was overturned in 1987 after the California Supreme Court ruled that he had received ineffective assistance from counsel. Resentenced to Death in 1989.
Phillian Eugene Lee
Thomas H. Lenart
Convicted and sentenced to death in the murder of a bartender during a 1993 robbery.
While other defendants may have avoided the death penalty for killings committed during “barroom holdups,” Justice Joyce L. Kennard wrote, the calculated and callous manner in which Thomas Howard Lenart killed Oberta Toney makes the death penalty proportionate to the crime.
Police in the small city of Anderson discovered Toney’s body after Eleanor Gallardo, a patron of the Anderson Lounge, reported struggling with a gun-wielding man who was apparently alone in the dimly lit bar when the patron entered it around noon. She wrestled a single-action revolver from her assailant, but was unable to make an identification.
Several patrons who had been in the bar that morning said that Lenart was still there when they left.
Police also found Lenart’s fingerprint on a beer bottle at the bar. They determined that the gun that Gallardo wrestled away had been taken from the barn of a local resident who rented a unit on his property to Lenart’s ex-wife, and that Lenart had visited the property on a couple of occasions in the weeks prior to the murder.
After learning that Lenart had paid his cable and utility bills and his rent in cash on the afternoon of the murder, police obtained a warrant to search his apartment. They found coin wrappers, burnt fragments of a check that the owner of the bar testified as having been taken the day of the robbery and murder, and a pair of cowboy boots on which were found drops of blood that may have come from the victim.
Forensic testimony said the victim was kicked in the head, possibly with the tip of a cowboy boot. The cause of death was determined to be two gunshot wounds to the head, inflicted from no more than four feet away.
Lenart was also linked to the crime through a strongbox, which his girlfriend found in her storage shed. A former girlfriend identified the box and some jewelry in it as hers, but said that other jewelry in the box was Lenart’s and that she had never before seen the coin wrappers in the box, which were of the type used by the Anderson Lounge.
Jose Luis Leon
Date of Crime: 5/03
Leon dated Veronica Haft before she left to study in England. In retaliation for Veronica’s going to England, Leon invaded the home of Veronica’s grandmother, Hope Ragland, and stabbed her to death. Then when Veronica’s 13-year-old brother Austin Perez walked in while Leon was putting Ragland’s body in the closet, Leon stabbed Perez to death, too. Additionally, Leon hit Veronica’s grandfather Marion Ragland in the head, with a hatchet, but Marion survived.
His crime spree began in January 1993 with the invasion-style robbery of a Beverly Hills jewelry store along with two accomplices. Leon and the other men got away with $800,000 in jewelry.
Two weeks later, Leon robbed a North Hollywood pawnshop of $5,000. In that heist, his accomplices shot and seriously injured two workers.
Then on Feb. 2, 1993, Leon, who previously had been convicted of robbery, shot Norair Akhverdian, 42, when he robbed a Sun Valley Shell gas station.
Videotape of that murder was played for jurors. It shows Leon grab the cash out of the register, jump over the counter to leave, then turn around and shoot Akhverdian in the chest as the clerk stands with his hands up.
Akhverdian, a father of four, was killed instantly when the bullet pierced his heart.
A week later, Leon shot Varouj Armenian, 39, a popular Armenian singer in the face and neck after he robbed Armenian's Hollywood Boulevard liquor store.
During the penalty phase, a sobbing Margaret Armenian described the day her husband was killed.
"My mom said something was wrong at the store and instantly I said, `Oh my God, I feel my husband is dead, '' a tearful Armenian said. ``We had plans to order food at the liquor store for lunch, but I never saw him again.''
Eric Royce Leonard
On February 12, 1991, a lone gunman entered a Quik Stop market on Auburn Boulevard and shot two employees and a customer from close range. The shootings appeared to be a robbery, although nothing was taken except a tin of beef jerky and a few other items.
A week later, three workers in a Watt Avenue pizza parlor were killed in a similar manner. Authorities believed that the slayings were done for kicks. The unknown killer was quickly dubbed the “thrill killer” by the media, as an outburst of coverage followed the developments.
A massive manhunt ensued, and may have deterred the killer from making further attacks. But many months passed before police found a troubled young man named Eric Royce Leonard, who then became the 27th Sacramento area resident waiting on death row....Victims: Zaid Obeid, Stephen Anderson (employees of a convenience store), Thor Johnson (convenience store customer?), Sarah Crook, Kyle Reynolds, Andrea Coldangelo (Pizza joint employees). Crimes occured 2-12-1991 and 2-19-1991. .25 cal handgun was murder weapon.
Richard Lacy Letner
Sentenced to death for the murder of a californian nurse.
Convicted and sentenced to death in the murders of Eddie Mae Lee, 76, and Patronella Luke, 35--gunned down at the Mt. Olive Church of God in Christ on July 21, 1989--and the attempted murder of Luke's husband, Peter, who was wounded.
The masked gunmen burst in on worshipers, including about 30 children. One of the men guarded the door while the other prowled the aisles, apparently looking for someone. When he reached the Lukes, he opened fire. Lee was shot down as she tried to flee.
John Irving Lewis
Lewis was sentenced to death for his role in the so called "mall-murders". The other defendants-Robbin Machuca, 27, John Irving Lewis' half sister; Vincent Hubbard, 27, Machuca's former boyfriend, and Eileen Huber, 21, Lewis' former girlfriend-were brought in separately Wednesday for sentencing to life in prison without possibility of parole.
The killings began July 5, 1991, when Jose Avina, 22, of Norwalk was shot while stopped in his pickup truck at a Monrovia intersection, and ended the next month when Shirley Denogean, 56, of Claremont was shot repeatedly along the Pomona Freeway near the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area. The crimes were called the "mall murders" because two of the victims were kidnaped at gunpoint from the Puente Hills Mall, forced to withdraw money from automated teller machines and shot. Their bodies were dumped along area freeways.
Keith Allen Lewis
Oakland man sentenced to death in 1999 for executing the 6-year-old daughter of his girlfriend while police and witnesses watched helplessly.
Michael Bernard Lewis
Convicted and sentenced to Death for killing Patricia Miller, of Moreno Valley, in August 1991.
Miller's daughter, then 13, discovered her mother's body on the living room floor of her apartment. Miller's throat had been slashed after she was strangled to unconsciousness and raped. The link
to Lewis came through DNA evidence. Prosecutors said Lewis probably killed Miller after he raped her
to keep her from reporting the crime and sending him back to prison. Lewis previously had served
two years in prison for raping and choking a Venice woman who survived the attack and identified
him to police.
Milton Otis Lewis
The California Supreme Court, in a 6-1 decision, affirmed the death sentence for a homeless man who admitted killed a Redding resident after getting into a dispute with the victim’s neighbor over a drug deal. While Milton Otis Lewis’ defense attorney gave a “terse” and “meager” closing argument, Justice Joyce L. Kennard wrote, the court cannot speculate on direct appeal as to his reasons for doing so...An attorney sued for actions undertaken on behalf of a client may bring an anti-SLAPP motion if the complaint implicates the lawyer’s own First Amendment rights, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled
Raymond Anthony Lewis
Sentenced to death for the beating death of Sandra Simms. He killed beather with a two-by-four wooden board, strangle her, and take money from her person.
Robert Lewis Jr.
He had been sentenced to death for the murder and robbery of Milton Estell on 10/27/1983. They got into contact because Mr. Estell wanted to sell his 1980 Cadillac.
Crime date: July 7, 1993
William George Compton was 76, weak from chemotherapy and surgery and believed to be dying of colon cancer when he was stabbed to death at his Oleander-area home in central Bakersfield. Compton had a passion for collecting valuable antique and custom-made weapons. But that passion may have been his undoing as the theft of his collection apparently was the motive for the killing. Christopher Charles Lightsey was convicted in the murder.
Gunner Jay Lindberg
The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the first death sentence for a hate crime in the state.
The Court's ruling against Gunner Jay Lindberg, 33, was handed down on August 28, 2008, 12 years after he brutally murdered a 24-year-old Vietnamese immigrant in Tustin, California. In 1997, an Orange County Superior Court jury convicted Lindberg of murder in the first degree with the special circumstances of both a hate-crime and attempted robbery; the judge sentenced him to death. In affirming the sentence in 2008, the Court ruled that "the evidence overwhelmingly showed that the defendant was a racist who regarded non-Whites as subhuman." In January 1996, Lindberg, 21 at the time, and Domenic Michael Christopher, then 17, approached the victim, asked him if he had a car, then stomped, kicked, and stabbed him 22 times (including 14 times in the heart), slit both of his jugular veins, called him a "Jap," and left him to die on the Tustin High School tennis courts on which he had been rollerblading. His body was found the next morning. According to authorities, after the attack Lindberg and Christopher threw away the butcher knife they had used, bought cigarettes, then went back to Lindberg's house, where they smoked marijuana, played video games and watched horror movies.
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the 1986 murders during a robbery.
As a shopping district so hoity-toity that some stores have unlisted telephone numbers, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills seldom suffers life's gritty turns. But last week terror exploded in that swank precinct. It came in the form of a respectably dressed young man who buzzed his way into the exclusive Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry store, drew a revolver and announced a robbery. When police arrived almost immediately, the gunman took five people hostage. Protected by the store's bulletproof doors and windows, he killed two hostages: Saleswoman Ann Heilperin, 40, shot in the head, and Security Guard William Smith, 54, stabbed in the back. Beverly Hills police enlisted the SWAT team from the Los Angeles County sheriff's department, and the neighborhood was turned into an armed camp as the siege went on for almost 14 hours.
After negotiations by telephone with the bandit, identified as Steven Livaditis, 22, a fugitive from robbery charges in Las Vegas, police--as yet unaware of the murdered hostages--were confident that he was going to surrender. In the darkness, Livaditis decided to run for it, shielding himself with three hostages and a drape. Police lobbed concussion grenades that knocked the group to the ground, thwarting the escape. When one man separated from the others and pointed back toward them, a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy shot and killed him. The dead man, however, was not the gunman; Livaditis was found among his hostages, stunned and only slightly injured. He was later charged with murder, robbery, kidnaping and other crimes. The victim turned out to be the jewelry store's manager, Hugh Skinner, 64. "The shooting was not accidental," Sheriff Sherman Block explained forthrightly. "The marksman shot this individual, convinced that he was the suspect. It was a tragic end."
David James Livingston
He was sentenced to death on 07/20/2000 for the 01/03/1999 murder of 2 security guards. Roderico Paz, 62, and Remigio Malinao, 49, were killed. Rodolso Bombarda, 52, and Saul Connor Martinez, 59, survived critically wounded. They worked at a housing complex in Compton known for its efforts to stem crime and provide residents with a safe environment.
Livingston, an alleged member of a Compton street gang, was also wanted in connection with an unrelated shooting in October 19999 in which a rival gang member was wounded.
Convicted and sentence to Death in two 1991 murders, committed during the course of the robbery of adult bookstore in Fontana.
The undisputed evidence was that Loker entered the store and began firing a handgun, striking four people. He stole two of the victims’ wallets, and forced an employee, who to give him money from a cash register. Two of the victims later died from their wounds.
Loker fled to Arizona, driving a car he had stolen from an Arcadia store owner at gunpoint the day before. The day after the Fontana robbery-murders, Loker robbed a convenience store in Flagstaff, Arizona, shot one man and raped his wife. He was arrested three days later.
Darrel Lee Lomax
Joined Death Row in 1996 after killing a liquor store clerk, attacked and beat a sheriff's deputy while in county jail. He also threatened witnesses in his trial by penning the message, "I will be out," on a note pad and flashing it to audience members in the courtroom.
Angela Toler, an accomplice in the robbery-murder case, testified against defendant. She told the jury that on August 29, 1994, she went to the apartment of her friend and neighbor Ihesia Sullivan. Sullivan was there with defendant, whom Toler knew as Malik Hasan. In the afternoon, defendant asked Toler to “hook him up with a lick,” which meant to show him a place he could rob.
Around 10:30 or 11:00 p.m., Toler and defendant left in a rented Ford Taurus. Sullivan stayed home with her children. Toler had smoked phencyclidine (PCP) about six hours earlier. She testified that she was no longer under the influence of the drug when she and defendant looked for a place to rob.
Toler and defendant drove to a liquor store but left because it was too crowded. They drove next to the P & B Market on Fourth and Cherry Streets, parked around the corner, and walked into the store. Both were armed with semiautomatic handguns. Toler‟s was chrome plated and pink handled; defendant‟s was black. They entered the store and announced, “[this is] a robbery.” Defendant stood across the counter from the clerk, Nasser Akbar. Akbar handed money to both defendant and Toler. When another employee emerged from the back of the store, Toler pointed her gun at him.
Akbar did not speak, reach for anything, or make any threatening gestures during this exchange. Nevertheless, after the money changed hands, defendant shot Akbar twice. As Akbar lay on the floor, defendant reached over the counter and shot him twice more. Defendant then shot the store‟s security camera. Toler testified that she did not fire her weapon during the incident. A total of $68 was stolen.
Sentenced to Death 10/16/96
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge J.D. Smith said Bruce Millsap, 33, and Kendrick Loot, 28, deserved execution because of the cruelty and callousness they showed during their yearlong rampage, including shooting armored car drivers without giving them a chance to hand over the money. "These are super predators, whose actions were completely bereft of any understanding or compassion for human life," Deputy Dist. Atty. Anthony Myers said after the sentencing hearing. "In the end, justice will be achieved when . . . they are executed." Millsap was sentenced to eight death sentences plus 200 years for first-degree murders of eight people. Loot got one death sentence plus two life sentences for his role in three murders. Millsap may also face charges that he tried to hire someone to kill Myers, along with Deputy Dist. Atty. Kevin McCormick and two witnesses in the case. Loot faces another murder trial in Riverside County. Under state law, the men's sentences of death by lethal injection will automatically be appealed. Both men were found guilty of the Nov. 30, 1995, robbery-murder of armored car driver Fernando Herrera in the Queen City Bank in Long Beach, the Feb. 9, 1996, robbery-murder of armored car driver James Moon at a Carson school and the Nov. 15, 1995, murder of Ramone McKissick, who was shot by Millsap as Loot was driving. Millsap was also convicted last month of five other murders and on 15 counts of robbery and attempted murder in communities across Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties. Loot also was convicted on several counts of attempted murder, robbery and attempted robbery. Loot's attorney, Richard LaPan, said his client should not have been sentenced to death because he did not actually pull the trigger to kill any of the victims. But LaPan also said that his client had said he would rather die by lethal injection than spend his life in prison.
LaPan said he would appeal his client's case anyway because Loot might change his mind in a month. "I think his life is worth saving, and even if I didn't, it's my duty anyway," the attorney said. A third man, Richard Colston, a former accomplice who testified against Loot and Millsap, awaits trial on four murder charges and could face the death penalty if convicted. A fourth accomplice, Emanuel Brown, hanged himself in his jail cell when he learned he would have to stand trial.
Bobby Lopez Jr.
Convicted and sentenced to death in 1997 of the 1989 murders Tony ``Little Weasel'' Herrera, Larry Valles and Esteban Guzman, alleged drug dealers who reportedly balked at paying taxes to the gang; Eli Rosas, said to have ``disrespected'' other gang members; Marcos Baca, thought to be a snitch, whose body was found on the grounds of Santee Elementary School; and Ray ``Chocolate'' Perez, a gang wannabe who may have made the mistake of breaking gang rules.
The seventh victim to die, Sheila Apodaca, was allegedly killed on the orders of her boyfriend -- Bobby Lopez -- because she furiously objected to his womanizing and threatened to retaliate. According to prosecutors, the order to kill Apodaca was placed by phone from the fourth floor of the county jail, where Lopez was being held on other harges.
Juan Manuel Lopez
Lopez, a Parthenia Street gang member, was sentenced to death for the murder of his 15-year-old ex-girlfriend Mindy Carmody in retaliation for testifying against him in court on assault and kidnapping charges.
Michael A. Lopez
Was convicted of beating a baby to death.
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the May 8, 1996 kidnapping and murder of Monique Arroyo.
David Allen Lucas
Triple killer David Allen Lucas, a Casa de Oro carpet cleaner who was sentenced to death in 1989 for slashing the throats of two women and a 3-year-old boy.
He has been sitting on death row in California since 1981 for murdering two little girls age 7 & 11 in Calimesa California.
Sentenced to death for the fatal shootings of two Wilshire Boulevard jewelers in a 1981 robbery.
Johnathan Ross Luther
In Riverside, Johnathan Ross Luther was convicted of first degree murder for the 2003 shooting death of retired La Sierra University professor Brian Jacques. Luther was sentenced to the death penalty in 2007.
Serial murder. Connected to 13 slayings of elderly women since 1980.
He was linked to a series of slayings and brutal attacks on elderly women that frightened communities across Northern California. He was sentenced to death for the Aug. 13 1987 beating of Ruth Constantine, 73, of San Leandro.
Luis Robert Maciel
Sentenced to Death 1998. Luis Maciel, who authorities said recruited people to carry out orders of a prison gang to kill the family April 22, 1995. Maciel was convicted of murder on Jan. 30 after a trial.
Prosecutors argued that the deaths were ordered by a Mexican Mafia prison gang as retribution against one of the victims, Anthony Morena, 42, for his decision 12 years earlier to leave the group in violation of a gang code.
The other victims were Morena's sister, Maria, 38; her son, Ambrose Padilla Jr., 6 months; her daughter, Laura, 5; and a friend Gus "Tito" Aguirre, 36. One child survived by hiding under a pile of debris.
The gunmen, Richard Anthony Valdez, 25, of West Covina and Jimmy Palma, 25, of Arcadia, were sentenced to death last June, and another accomplice, Anthony Torres, 31, of Alhambra, is serving life without opportunity for parole. Two others involved in the killings, Daniel Logan, 21, of Pasadena and Jose Ortiz, 26, of San Gabriel, are serving 129 years to life.
Ricky Rene Madison
Was convicted May 20 2009 of first-degree murder for the Dec. 5, 2006, killing of Aysha Sly, 27, in her Hawthorne Apartment. The jury recommended that Madison, who was married at the time of the killing, be put to death. Sentenced to Death 7/09.
A man has been sentenced to death for killing an off-duty Los Angeles County police captain during a robbery attempt. Miguel Magallon was sentenced Thursday in Los Angeles. The 26-year-old Carson man was convicted in July of first-degree murder and attempted robbery. Magallon apologized during the penalty phase of his trial. Prosecutors say he shot 53-year-old Michael Sparkes nine times with an AK-47 assault rifle in 2004 in South Los Angeles as Sparkes biked to work. Magallon's DNA was found on the gun. Sparkes managed to shoot and wound Magallon before dying at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he supervised the security force. The getaway driver, 24-year-old Orvis Anthony of Gardena, got 50 years to life last month.
Sentenced to Death 10/15/09.
Hung Thahn Mai
Convicted and sentenced to Death for the 1996 killing of a California Highway Patrol rookie,
Officer Don Burt Jr. during a traffic stop in 1996. Mai fired five bullets into Burt's body and
one bullet point-blank into Burt's head, according to authorities.
While in custody on the murder charge, Mai attempted to have a district attorney killed and ran an illegal gun-trafficking operation.
He also paid $30,000 to have the witness in the CHP case killed and told the hitman, "If you can't find the witness, kill his whole damn family," CBS 2 News reported.
Instead of going to San Quentin, where all of California's death row inmates reside, Mai will be sent to a federal penitentiary in Florence, Colo., where notorious prisoners such as the Unabomber and Terry McVeigh are locked up, CBS 2 News reported.
A judge also ordered that Mai be locked in a constantly lighted cell with a guard watching him at all times. Sentenced to Death in 2000.
James David Majors
Was sentenced to death for the Jan. 26, 1989, gangland-style slayings of Thomas Probst, Jeanine Copeland, and Patrick Mungavin at a Fair Oaks residence.
Joseph Keko Manibusan
Was sentenced to die for 1998 "murders for fun" of two Peninsula women.
Manriquez, allegedly committed four different murders. Manriquez shot and killed Miguel Garcia at The Las Playas restaurant in Paramount. He shot and killed the strip-club doorman, George Martinez, after Manriquez was thrown out of the club for touching one of the dancers (Daneen Baker) on her thighs. The Rita Motel in Compton (or Lynwood) is where Manriquez and his girlfriend, Sylvia Tinoco, were drinking beer and doing coke, after which Manriquez decided to shoot and kill Efrem Baldia. He´s also convicte dfor the murder of Jose Gutierrez in a bar.
Delaney Geral Marks
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the Oakland 1994 murders of a taxi driver and the owner of a convenience store.
Cynthia Coffman and James Marlow are sentenced to death in San Bernardino, California, for the 1986 murder of Corinna Novis. Coffman was the first woman to receive a death sentence in the state since capital punishment was reinstated in 1977.
Coffman first met Marlow in May 1986, just after he was released from prison. Marlow, a career criminal, had been locked up for stealing his sixth wife's car. An earlier stint in Folsom prison had earned him the nickname of "The Folsom Wolf." Coffman and Marlow hit it off so fast that within weeks they were traveling the country together.
In late July, Marlow and Coffman were married in Tennessee. As a wedding gift, Coffman received a tattoo on her butt that read "Property of the Folsom Wolf." The couple moved back West, sponging off relatives until they made it to California in October.
On November 7, 1986, in Redlands, California, Corinna Novis disappeared from an ATM. Just five days later, Lynel Murray was kidnapped from outside the dry cleaners where she worked in Orange County.
On November 11, Novis' checkbook was found in a dumpster along with some papers that had Marlow's and Coffman's names on them. A lodge owner in Big Bear City reported that they had recently checked in. Over 100 men joined a search party that eventually caught the couple while hiking through the mountains in clothes that had been stolen from Murray's dry cleaners.
On this day in 1989, Marlow and Coffman were convicted of Novis' murder and sentenced to death; they were later also convicted of Murray's murder. They remain on death row.
Valerie Dee Martin
Valerie Dee Martin (dob 9-13-1967) was prosecuted along with three men in case No. MA026253. She was convicted of murdering a victim named William Whiteside, who was killed on Feb. 28, 2003. On March 26 of this year, she was sentenced to death. Two of her co-defendants were convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The third defendant's case is still pending.
A Pacoima gang member stared sullenly straight ahead Friday as he was sentenced to death for acting as the getaway driver in a botched plot to kidnap and murder a Buena Park businessman nearly eight years ago. Alberto Martinez, 32, became the second co-conspirator to receive the death sentence for the Oct. 2, 2002 shooting death of David Montemayor, 44, who was gunned down on a street not far from his home when he tried to escape from his kidnappers. A 10-woman, two-man jury recommended in June that Martinez be executed rather than spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole after convicting him of first-degree murder plus several special circumstances - including murder for financial gain, murder during a kidnapping and murder for the benefit of a street gang.
On Friday, Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseno weighed the evidence indepently and agreed that death was the appropriate penalty. Martinez winked and smiled at friends and family members before he was escorted from the courtroom in shackles. Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy argued that Martinez was part of a team of killers hired by Deborah Ann Perna - Montemayor's sister - to abduct and kill Montemayor so she could wrest control of the family trucking business. Perna was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2006. Witnesses testified during several prior trials that Perna wanted her brother killed after she learned that their father planned to give control of the family trucking business to his son. She relayed information to the Pacoima gang members that they could keep thousands of dollars in cash that Montemayor allegedly secreted away in coffee cans in his Buena Park home, according to trial witnesses.But the gang members never made it inside the garage to search for the coffee cans because Montemayor bolted from the kidnap car on a Buena Park street rather than allow them to take him to his home, where his wife and children were waiting, Gundy said. Montemayor was shot as he ran, igniting a wild police pursuit that ended in Anaheim when Buena Park police executed a PIT maneuver to disable the car being driven by Martinez. Detectives never found any secret stash in coffee cans.
Gerardo Lopez, another Pacoima gang member who was a juvenile at the time of the offense - was tried as an adult, convicted and sentenced in 2006 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Anthony Navarro, 44, who hired the Pacoima gang members for Perna, was convicted of first-degree murder plus several special circumstances and was sentenced to death in 2008.
Armando Macias, 34, a fifth suspect, faces his own death-penalty trial in September on allegations that he had a role in the slaying.
Sentenced to Death 8/6/10.
Carlos Martinez, 34, who was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for the December 2004 slayings of Nicolas Casas, 83, and his wife, Emilia Casas, 73, made no comment before Superior Court Judge William R. Froeberg handed down the maximum penalty.
Relatives and friends of the murdered couple, including daughters Elva Morin and Emma Lozano, hugged each other in the courtroom gallery and cried.
An Orange County jury convicted Martinez of committing multiple murders during the commission of a burglary, special circumstances that qualified him for a possible death sentence. But the first penalty phase ended with an 11-1 hung jury in favor of death, setting the stage for second trial this year. The second jury voted unanimously for death on July 1.
Nicolas Casas was stabbed 25 times with a steak knife during the brutal attack on Dec. 29, 2004. Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh argued that Casas tried desperately to save his wife of 55 years, but his age and infirmities prevented him from overcoming his much-younger assailant.
Emilia Casas, too, put up a fight as she was being stabbed 35 to 40 times, Baytieh said.
Sentenced to Death 8/21/09.
Michael M. Martinez
Convicted of murdering Lisa White and attempting to murder her daughter in White's Hayward home
in December 1990. White was beaten to death with a hammer and also stabbed in the neck,
authorities said. Her daughter testified that Martinez raped her and hit her in the head with a
hammer. When she regained consciousness, the girl said, she saw Martinez hit White with the
hammer and stab her as she entered the home. Martinez, who worked for a moving company,
admitted killing White but denied molesting her daughter, an attack that made the murder a
capital crime. He said he had gone to the house to sell methamphetamine to White and that they
had shared drugs before getting into an argument. He said she had first swung the hammer at him
and that he had then punched her, grabbed the hammer and hit her in the face and head.
Omar Fuentes Martinez a.k.a Luis Avilles
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the 1988 murder of Victor Castillo over a suspected financial dispute. Martinez used an AK-47 to commit the murder.
Convicted and sentenced to Death for the stabbing of companion Myra Orozco, 24, to death in 2003. The alleged gang member was convicted in 2005 of murdering another girlfriend, Christina Wilkerson, 28, less than two weeks before the first killing.
Sentenced to Death 11/24/09.
Tommy Jesse Martinez Jr.
Convicted in 1998 for raping and beating a woman to death in 1996 at Oakley Park.
Arrived at San Quentin in 1981 at the age of 19 charged with armed robbery and was moved to Death Row in 1990 after being convicted of a role in a prison guard's (Sergeant Howell Burchfield ) murder, who had been stabbed to death.
Date of crime: 11/12/97
Mataele and the victim, Danell Johnson, were involved in a group that was committing identity theft and drug dealing. Mataele was also convicted of attempted murder of Johnson’s roommate. The defense argued that the judge should have allowed a witness that would have testified that the shooter was a slender man, not over 300 pounds like Mataele. The death sentence was sought because Mataele lured the victim to kill him. An aggravating factor was that Mataele had previously robbed a stranger at gun point.
Robert Edward Maury
In 1989 in Shasta County, real party in interest Robert Edward Maury was convicted of the murder of three women and sentenced to death. It´s interesting to now,t hat he got money because he told the authorities where they can find the remians of the women he killed before.
On the night of February 2, 1983, Mayfield went to the Pope residence armed with a sawed off shotgun and two shells. He entered the house by removing the bedroom window with a screwdriver and, once in the house, he loaded and cocked the shotgun. Mayfield went into the living room where Ora Pope and her friend, Edward Moreno, were seated on a couch, drinking and listening to music. Mayfield aimed the shotgun at Ora and confronted her about the car theft charges. During the conversation, Ora got up, either to light a cigarette or to come at Mayfield, and Mayfield, startled by her sudden movement, pulled the shotgun's "hair" trigger killing Ora. He then reloaded the gun and killed Moreno.
Mayfield dragged the bodies, with Ora still showing signs of life, to an outside storage shed. He hosed the blood off the pavement, retrieved the two spent shells, locked the house, and replaced the bedroom window. Mayfield went to the house of his friend, Patricia Harper, and hid the shotgun. Harper testified that "[h]e said he did it. It slipped. He didn't mean to. And then he had to. . . . He had to do the second one." Before leaving Harper's house, Mayfield told her that he was "going to go wait for Byron, too," and going to "get Byron, too."
To prevent the discovery of his crimes, Mayfield waited outside the Pope residence for Byron carrying a knife. When Byron arrived at the house, Mayfield confronted him and the two fought. After discussing the car theft charges for an extended period, Mayfield succeeded in forcing Byron to leave without entering the house. Mayfield then returned home where the police found him the next morning.
Dennis Mayfield aka Dennis Brewer
Sgt. Gary Wolfley, 31, was slain with his own gun in March 1986 by a man he had stopped for questioning behind a gas station.
Minutes later, Wolfley's wife -- then a Fontana police officer who was off-duty and riding with her husband -- used the sergeant's car radio to report shots fired and someone running away.
Dennis Mayfield, 26, of San Bernardino, was arrested that same night after police chased him to a nearby house where he barricaded himself inside and shot the homeowner in the leg before negotiators talked him into surrendering.
Mayfield was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. In January 1997, the state Supreme Court upheld his death sentence. Mayfield continues to await execution at San Quentin.