By Aaron Blevins, 11/08/2012
A gang member was sentenced to death on Nov. 2 for the 2008 murder of 17-year-old high school football player Jamiel Shaw Jr.
Pedro Espinoza, 23, was convicted on May 9 of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Shaw. Jurors found true the special circumstance that it was a gang killing. They also found true the allegations that the defendant personally and intentionally discharged a firearm causing the victim great bodily injury and death, and that the murder was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
On May 23, the same jury recommended that Espinoza be sentenced to death. Espinoza shot and killed Shaw, a senior and star football player at Los Angeles High School, on March 2, 2008.
Superior Court Judge Ronald Rose imposed the death sentence. In rejecting a defense request for a reduced sentence, Rose said that Espinoza murdered “a defenseless victim in cold blood” and bragged about it. The judge also noted that Espinoza “murdered the victim to further the activities of his gang.”