Sentencing set for gang member in athlete’s death

Topics: From the Wires,

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge has refused to grant a new trial for a gang member convicted of killing a star high school athlete.

Prosecutors have said the athlete was targeted because he was carrying a red Spider-Man backpack, a color perceived by Pedro Espinoza as linking Jamiel Shaw II to an opposing gang

The judge said Friday that evidence that Espinoza killed Shaw was overwhelming and rejected defense arguments that Espinoza didn’t get a fair trial.

A jury has recommended death for Espinoza and the judge said he would consider a motion to modify that to life without parole before he imposes a sentence.

Shaw was a standout running back at Los Angeles High School when he was gunned down in 2008. He was not a gang member.

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