LOS ANGELES — A jury has recommended a death sentence for a gang member convicted of killing a standout Los Angeles High School football player for carrying a red Spider-Man backpack.
Jurors reportedly reached their verdict Wednesday in the penalty phase of trial for Pedro Espinoza. The same panel convicted Espinoza of murdering 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw on May 9.
Prosecutors say Shaw was gunned down in 2008 because of his red backpack, the signature color of the Bloods gang, and Espinoza assumed he was a gang rival. Espinoza has a tattoo near his left ear that is short for “Blood killer.”
Shaw was shot twice, in the abdomen and head, as he was talking to his girlfriend on the phone near his home.
Sentencing has been scheduled for Sept. 21.
- From the Associated Press