The California Supreme Court says the death penalty is an appropriate sentence for a gang member convicted of shooting to death a Los Angeles sheriff's deputy 17 years ago.
The unanimous court on Monday rejected the self-defense claims of Freddie Fuiava.
Deputy Stephen Blair was questioning Fuiava and another man in the Lynwood area of Los Angeles County after seeing them discard a loaded handgun on May 12, 1995.
The defense claimed that Blair opened fire on Fuiava first. Prosecutors alleged Fuiava was the one to start shooting out of fear of returning to prison.
The Supreme Court ruled that the jury and judge had a sound basis to convict Fuiava of 1st-degree murder. It said any legal error made during the trial was "harmless."
(source: Associated Press)