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Death Penalty Sought for Michael Christopher Mejia in 2017 CA Murder of Officer Keith Boyer
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Thread: Death Penalty Sought for Michael Christopher Mejia in 2017 CA Murder of Officer Keith Boyer

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    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Death Penalty Sought for Michael Christopher Mejia in 2017 CA Murder of Officer Keith Boyer



    Officer Keith Boyer


    Victim Roy Torres Was Michael Mejia's cousin





    Whittier Officer Killed, Another Wounded in Shootout With Armed Driver


    By Willian Avila
    NBC Los Angeles

    A Whittier police officer was killed and another officer and a gunman were wounded in a gun battle Monday morning, officials said.

    "Officers respond to a call, and it seems like a simple traffic accident, and the next thing they know they’re in a gunfight," said Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

    About 8 a.m., two male officers responded to a crash in the area of Colima Road and Mar Vista in Whittier, Southern California, where allegedly a driver of a stolen car had struck two other cars at a stop light, Corina said.

    When the officers arrived, they were told by the victims that the driver who had struck them was around the corner.

    The officers, who had not yet been identified, approached the suspected gunman's car completely unaware that it was stolen.

    "When they get him out of the car, they go to pat him down for weapons, they can see he’s got tattoos all over his face and all over his neck," Corina said at a news conference.

    In the midst of a pat down, Corina said the man pulled out a gun and started shooting. The officers returned fire and wounded him.

    Both officers were wearing bullet-proof vests, Corina said.

    All three were rushed to the hospital, where one of the officers was pronounced dead. The other officer and the gunman were in stable condition.

    The identity of the shooter had not been released, but deputies said he was a known gang member. He was described by Corina only as a 26-year-old man who had been paroled approximately 10 days before the shootout.

    He was in the intensive care unit of the hospital, Corina said.

    Aerial images showed the shattered driver side window of a Whittier police vehicle and a rifle on the trunk of another car.

    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/lo...414262083.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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    Gunman who killed Whittier officer had fatally shot another man hours earlier, police say

    By Tony Barboza and Richard Winton
    The Los Angeles Times

    One officer was killed and a second injured in a shootout with a gang member who was wounded in a Monday morning altercation in Whittier, authorities said.

    Three Whittier Police Department officers were responding to the scene of a traffic collision about 8 a.m. when a 26-year-old, recently paroled man driving a stolen car opened fire with a semiautomatic pistol, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. John Corina.

    Detectives said the alleged gunman, who is expected to survive, is also a suspect in homicide that occurred in East Los Angeles. They said they believe he stole a vehicle Sunday morning after killing a man, then drove into Whittier, where he encountered the police.

    The slain officer was identified as Keith Boyer, a 27-year veteran of the department.

    Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper broke down in tears recounting Boyer, whom he described as a close friend and beloved member of the department. He said Boyer was a mentor to others in the department and had recently talked about retiring.

    Boyer played in a community band that performed for charity. At the police station, he was known for his smiling, friendly disposition and willingness to lend help and offer advice, the chief said.

    “He was the best of the best,” Piper said, who broke out in tears during a Monday afternoon news conference. "This is an unbelievably senseless tragedy.”

    Piper said the shooting suspect, whose name has not been made public, was released from custody early and blamed a series of new laws designed to reduce incarcerations in California.

    Neither Piper nor the Sheriff’s Department offered specific information about his record or how he was released early. But the chief said Boyer’s killing showed how these laws have made the streets less safe.

    “We need to wake up. Enough is enough,” he said.

    Two officers were hit by gunfire and taken to UC Irvine Medical Center, where Boyer was pronounced dead, Corina said. The other, identified as wounded officer is in stable condition while the suspect was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, and his condition is unknown.

    The shooter, according to police, had been involved in a traffic accident with another vehicle near Colima Road and Mar Vista Street, and approached the driver he had rear-ended to help push his silver car to the side of the road around the corner.

    Police officers arrived in three cars and approached the man, who was seated in the silver car, Corina said. He got out and as officers moved to pat him down, he pulled a gun from his waistband and began shooting at close range.

    “He started firing at the officers and they returned fire," Corina said. “We are still looking into that, why he just opened fire.”

    Officers believed they were responding to a routine traffic call and did not know the vehicle was stolen when they approached.

    "It seems like a simple traffic accident and next thing they know they're in a gunfight,” Corina said, adding that “you never know when you respond to a call, what you are going to run into.”

    Corina said both officers were wearing bulletproof vests and were shot in the body.

    Police have not identified the shooter pending the ongoing investigation, but described him as a Los Angeles gang member who had been released on parole within the last two weeks and had many tattoos, including on his neck and face. He was driving a stolen car from East L.A.

    It was the first fatal shooting of a police officer in Whittier in more than 37 years, Mayor Joe Vinatieris said.

    “This is a very sad day for our officers, the families involved, the Whittier Police Department and our community,” Vinatieris said. “But we’re pulling together. And we're going to take care of these families and we're going to take care of this police department.”

    Investigators are still trying to piece together what motive the shooter had to fire on officers and have not interviewed him yet because he is being treated at the hospital, Corina said.

    Emergency responders at the scene performed CPR on a male officer while wheeling him into an ambulance, said Brian Feinzimer, a freelance photojournalist who was at the scene as authorities responded Monday morning.

    Also visible in the eastbound lanes of Mar Vista Street east of Colima Road was a Whittier police SUV with shattered windows and a suspect who was handcuffed facedown on the pavement, Feinzimer said.

    The shootout unfolded in a quiet and lushly landscaped neighborhood of suburban tract homes, churches, sports parks and rolling hills.

    Near the scene, a woman and young girl dressed in plaid shirts stopped in their SUV and hugged a Whittier police officer at the yellow police tape near the Friendly Hills Country club.

    Monday afternoon, a procession of police vehicles traveled from the hospital, accompanying the slain officer’s body to the Orange County coroner’s office. Their cars were greeted by a line of law enforcement officers who saluted as the procession drove by.

    The Whittier Police Department has about 128 sworn officers who patrol the cities of Whittier and Santa Fe Springs in southeastern Los Angeles County.

    City officials invited the public to attend a prayer vigil 6 p.m. Monday at the Whittier Police Department.

    Monday’s shooting marks the third time a police officer in Whittier was slain in the line of duty in the department’s 100-year history. Whittier officers were killed in 1977 and 1979, according to the city.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/l...220-story.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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    California police chief rips sentencing overhaul after officer's killing

    A suburban Los Angeles police chief blasted California's criminal justice reform initiatives Tuesday, one day after a recently paroled gang member fatally shot one of his officers and wounded another.

    "We need to wake up. Enough is enough," Whittier police Chief Jeff Piper told a news conference. "You're passing these propositions; you're creating these laws that are raising crimes. It's not good for our communities and it's not good for our officers. What you have today is an example of that."

    Michael Christopher Mejia, 26, was arrested Monday after Whittier police Officer Keith Boyer was fatally shot and Officer Patrick Hazell was wounded as they responded to the site of a traffic accident.

    Investigators say Mejia, a gang member whose face is covered in tattoos, killed his cousin, Roy Torres, 46, earlier Monday in East Los Angeles before stealing Torres' car. Mejia was driving through Whittier when he rear-ended another vehicle.

    When Boyer and Hazell arrived at the scene, a driver pointed them to the vehicle that had rear-ended his car. As the officers approached Mejia, police said, he opened fire and the officers shot back.

    Mejia was injured in the ensuring gun battle and remained hospitalized Tuesday.

    Mejia was sentenced to four years in prison in 2010 on a felony robbery charge as a member of a street gang and was paroled in 2014, according to Jeffrey Callison, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

    While on parole, Mejia was arrested again on grand theft and vehicle theft charges and sentenced to an additional two years in prison, Callison said.

    Authorities said Mejia had been released from Pelican State Prison in April and placed on probation under a reform measure known as Assembly Bill (AB) 109 that allowed some convicted felons to serve their sentences in county jails and serve probation instead of being sent to state prisons and paroled.

    Mejia had been arrested five times since April for violating his probation, most recently on Feb. 2, Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina said.

    Mejia's latest arrest was for "not cooperating with the search and seizure clause of his probation," sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said. He was released on Feb. 11.

    State law allowed him to be held for only 10 days after each of those five arrests, Corina said.

    State Sen. Jeff Stone, a Republican, said Tuesday that Boyer's slaying "appears to be another example of the danger created by the passage of misleading propositions and bad legislation that have allowed dangerous criminals back onto the streets of California."

    Piper and McDonnell also criticized Proposition 57, a reform measure that allows non-violent felons who normally wouldn't be eligible for parole to be considered for early release. State officials said that initiative has not yet been implemented and officials are still drafting the proposed regulations.

    California Gov. Jerry Brown campaigned strongly for the ballot measure, unveiling a website and creating radio ads for the initiative that he said could help offenders change their lives.

    Critics have said the initiatives pushed lower-level offenders onto the streets without sufficient deterrents against committing new crimes.

    However, Callison denied the initiatives had any effect on Mejia's tenure behind bars.

    "None of the state's recent criminal justice reforms -- including AB 109, Proposition 47 or Proposition 57 -- impacted when this individual was released from state prison," Callison said.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/02/21...s-killing.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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    California gang member charged with killing police officer

    LOS ANGELES -- A California gang member who had recently been released from jail has been charged with killing a police officer and his own cousin.

    Michael Mejia, 26, was charged Wednesday with murder with special circumstances, making him eligible for the death penalty. He’s also charged with attempted murder, carjacking and possession of a firearm by a felon.

    It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer.

    Prosecutors say Mejia shot and killed his cousin in East Los Angeles on Feb. 20, took his car and later crashed it into two other vehicles in neighboring Whittier.

    When police arrived, prosecutors say Mejia pulled a gun.

    Whittier Officer Keith Boyer was killed, and Officer Patrick Hazell and Mejia were wounded in the shootout.

    Mejia, a convicted robber, had been jailed for probation violations but freed about a week earlier.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/californ...olice-officer/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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    Suspect in Whittier police slaying appears in Norwalk court after court-appointed attorney recuses himself

    The suspect in the killing of a Whittier Police officer last month appeared in court Tuesday after his court-appointed attorney recused himself because of a conflict of interest.

    Rick Sternfeld of the Alternate Publice Defenders Office was assigned as the new public defender for Michael Christopher Mejia, 26.

    Deputy District Attorney Garrett Dameron said usually a public defender provides a specific explanation if there is a conflict with a client. That didnt happen in this case.

    The alternate public defenders office provides legal representation to indigent persons charged with a crime where the Public Defender is unable to represent (due to a conflict of interest or unavailability) in court proceedings in the Superior Courts and in appeals to higher courts, according to its website.

    Anthony Patalano, head deputy of the southeastern branch of the Los Angeles County public defenders office, said the conflict of interest was confidential.

    With cuffs around his wrists and ankles and wearing an orange jumpsuit and white shoes, Mejia on Tuesday appeared at the Norwalk Superior Court before Judge Raul A. Shagan.

    Boyers stepfather, Don Clark, and more than a dozen Whittier Police officers were seated in the gallery.

    An aunt of Mejia, who declined to give her name, was also in the audience.

    Mejia faces two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of carjacking and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in connection with the Feb. 20 shootings in East Los Angeles and Whittier.

    Mejia, a known gang member, could face the death penalty if convicted of the murder of Officer Keith Wayne Boyer, 53, the murder of his cousin, Roy Torres, 47, and the wounding of Officer Patrick Hazell, as well as the carjacking of his cousin and the alleged weapons violation, authorities said.

    Mejias arraignment was continued to 8:30 a.m. on April 18 in Department D at the Norwalk Superior Court.

    http://www.whittierdailynews.com/gov...ecuses-himself
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    Reputed Gang Member Pleads Not Guilty To Killing Cousin, Whittier Cop

    A reputed gang member charged with killing a Whittier police officer and wounding the officer's partner after gunning down his own cousin in February pleaded not guilty Monday during an arraignment hearing in Norwalk.

    Michael Christopher Mejia, 26, appeared in court in connection with the Feb. 20 killings of Officer Keith Boyer, 53, and his own cousin, 47-year-old Roy Torres, in East Los Angeles earlier the same day.

    Mejia is charged with two counts of murder, which include the special circumstance allegations of murder of a peace officer in the performance of his duties, murder for the purpose of avoiding arrest and multiple murders.

    After entering his pleas, Mejia was ordered to return to court May 30 for a preliminary hearing meant to enable a judge to decide whether there's enough evidence to warrant a trial.

    Prosecutors have not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty against Mejia, who is also charged with one count each of attempted murder of a peace officer, carjacking and possession of a firearm by a felon with two prior convictions -- second-degree robbery in 2010 and grand theft auto in 2014.

    The charges include allegations that Mejia personally and intentionally discharged a handgun and that he committed the crimes "for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in association with a criminal street gang."

    Boyer -- the first Whittier officer killed in the line of duty in about 37 years -- was fatally shot when he responded shortly after 8 a.m. Feb. 20 to a report of a traffic collision near Colima Road and Mar Vista Street in which Mejia had allegedly been involved.

    Mejia allegedly pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and fired at Boyer as well as Officer Patrick Hazell, who was shot in the abdomen but survived. Mejia was shot in the back during the shootout.

    About 5:30 that morning, Mejia allegedly gunned down his cousin and took the victim's car, which he crashed into two other vehicles in Whittier.

    Thousands of law enforcement officers, friends and family members attended Boyer's funeral on March 3. He was remembered as a dedicated public servant who had been with the police department for 27 years, a talented drummer, loving friend and even a "goofy" father of three adult children. Whittier police Chief Jeff Piper broke down in tears as he concluded his remarks at Boyer's funeral at Calvary Chapel Downey.

    "Keith's memory will live forever in the halls of our department and in the minds of everyone who knew him, for you see Keith was a hero, and they say heroes never die, they live forever," the police chief said.

    Mejia had recently been released from jail. Piper and Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell have both suggested that Mejia was back on the streets due to recent voter-approved propositions that reduce criminal penalties and allow for early release of inmates. Los Angeles County began investigating parole and probation records for Mejia after his arrest in February.

    https://patch.com/california/cerrito...n-whittier-cop
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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    District attorney to seek death penalty for Michael Mejia, the gang member accused of killing Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer

    By Sandra T. Molina
    The San Gabriel Valley Tribune

    The gang member accused of killing one Whittier police officer and wounding another in a shootout on Colima Road last February is scheduled to appear in court Friday, where the district attorneys office will formally announce prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case.

    Michael Christopher Mejia, 27, of Los Angeles, faces two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of carjacking in connection with the shootings in East Los Angeles and Whittier, said Deputy District Attorney Garrett Dameron.

    Officials believe Mejia fatally shot Whittier police Officer Keith Boyer when he responded to the scene of a car crash at Colima Road and Mar Vista Street on Feb. 20, 2017. Mejia is also accused of wounding Officer Patrick Hazell in the same shooting.

    Mejia is also tied to a second shooting earlier the same day prosecutors say the man fatally shot his cousin, Roy Torres, 47, in an East Los Angeles converted garage before stealing his vehicle.

    Mejias Friday appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. at Norwalk Superior Court.

    https://www.sgvtribune.com/2018/02/1...r-keith-boyer/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  8. #8
    Senior Member CnCP Legend JLR's Avatar
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    December 31, 2020

    In 2021, cases of slain deputy, officer and 2 children could see verdicts

    By Ruby Gonzales
    sgvtribune.com

    The pandemic prompted the courts in Los Angeles County to temporarily closed then operate on a limited basis for a time. Court services resumed in June, but wearing face masks and limitations of the number of people in courtrooms have become the norm.

    A lot of criminal cases were continued, including the murders of a Whittier officer, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy in Alhambra, a 4-year-old girl at a Whittier motel – whose body was taken to Mexico – and a 9-year-old girl whose body was dumped near a Hacienda Heights trail.

    Along with those cases, one affecting a Pasadena church and worshippers throughout the United States will likely play out in 2021.

    Here is a look at the five cases:

    The case of Michael Christopher Mejia

    Michael Christopher Mejia is accused of fatally shooting his cousin, 47-year-old Roy Torres, in East Los Angeles, then 53-year-old Whittier police Officer Keith Boyer on Feb. 20, 2017. A second officer was also shot but survived.

    Boyer was the first Whittier officer killed in the line of duty since 1979.

    Mejia, who turned 30 on Jan. 1, was charged with two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, carjacking and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The prosecutor also filed special-circumstance allegations in the case.

    In 2018, the prosecutor announced in court that the DA’s Office would seek the death penalty. In response, Mejia smiled and stuck out his tongue.

    But Mejia will no longer face the death penalty or life in prison without parole because of the DA’s Office seeking to dismiss many special-circumstance allegations. It wasn’t clear what maximum prison sentence he could get.

    Sheriff’s detectives accused him of fatally shooting his cousin over a dispute and then taking the cousin’s car.

    Mejia crashed into a car that rear-ended another vehicle on Colima Road and Mar Vista Street in Whittier. Officers Keith Boyer and Patrick Hazell responded. When they ordered Mejia to get out of the car, detectives said, he started shooting.

    Both officers and Mejia were hit in the gunfight. Boyer died in a hospital.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sgv...-verdicts/amp/

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