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Gang member sentenced to death for murder of standout Los Angeles student athlete

Published November 02, 2012
Associated Press
LOS ANGELES - A gang member who killed a promising Los Angeles High School football player because he believed the athlete's red Spider-Man backpack linked him to an opposing gang was sentenced to death on Friday.
Pedro Espinoza had told authorities he was willing to kill for his gang, even if it meant going to death row.
Superior Court Judge Ronald H. Rose imposed that very sentence - ordering Espinoza taken to San Quentin State Prison. The judge rejected defense arguments that the 23-year-old didn't get a fair trial.
"The evidence is clear he decided to murder the victim in cold blood and bragged about the killing after," Rose said. "The defendant executed the victim as he lay on the ground defenseless."
Jamiel Shaw II was a 17-year-old standout running back when he was gunned down in 2008. He was not a gang member.

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