John Michael Beames
Convicted and sentenced to Death in 1995. Defendant lived with Angelita McMains and McMains’s 15-month-old daughter, Cassie, and her infant son, Darrian. On January 19, 1994, Cassie bled to death due to a transection of her liver; that is, her liver had been hit so hard it was split nearly in two. The evidence at trial included medical testimony concerning the numerous physical injuries Cassie suffered in the weeks, days, hours, and minutes leading up to her death, and testimony from Cassie’s natural father, defendant’s siblings, McMains’s father, and defendant himself.
Frank Kalil Becerra
Convicted and sentenced to Death in 1997 for strangling two men in a downtown hotel room the day after Christmas 1994 over a drug deal. He he was on a drug-binge high when he murdered Herman Jackson and James Harding, both in their early 40s, apparently to settle a dispute over a cocaine deal. The victims were found in a room at the Pacific Grand Hotel. They were tied together, one behind the other, and had been strangled with electrical cords. Their pants were down around their ankles, an act of humiliation 18th Street gang members often use.
Convicted and sentenced to Death 2/09 for the murder and kidnapping for the March 4, 2000, killing of Maria Arevalo. Arevalo's body was found in the trunk of her car in the parking lot of a Van Nuys apartment complex where Becerrada had previously lived.A prosecutor says Becerrada stabbed and strangled Arevalo because she was the only witness in a rape case against him.
James David Beck
Sentenced to death in Stanislaus County in 1991 for four murders committed in the small town of Salida. In 1990, Vieira was living at a place called “The Camp,” which was a small complex of houses and trailers. Vieira lived in a trailer with David Beck. Jason LaMarsh lived in another trailer behind Vieira’s. Both trailers were behind Gerald Cruz’s house. Cruz was the leader of this group. Tensions developed in The Camp because Franklin Raper, a man in his 50’s who lived there, sold drugs from his trailer. Raper also got into a dispute with a neighbor over an electricity bill. Cruz liked the neighbor and was angry at Raper. Tensions increased when Raper got into a fight with LaMarsh over charges that Raper had stolen one of LaMarsh’s guns. Raper moved away from the camp and into a house in Salida. Cruz met with Vieira, LaMarsh, Beck, Ron Willey, and Michelle Evans. Cruz made a plan for the group to go to Raper’s house and “do them all and leave no witnesses.” Cruz also threatened those who did not do their job would join the victims. The group went to Raper’s house armed with baseball bats, a police-style baton, and knives. Except for Cruz, the men were dressed in camouflage and masks. Evans and LaMarsh entered the house and led whoever was inside to the living room. Evans let Vieira and Beck into the house through a window and returned to the car. Cruz and Willey approached the house, and people inside started screaming and running. Four people were killed that night. Richard Ritchey ran from the house and was beaten by Cruz and Willey with a police-style baton until Cruz cut his throat with a knife. Roger Colwell’s throat was slit inside the house. Emmie Paris died when Vieira slit her throat after beating her with a baseball bat. Raper died of skull fractures after being beaten. One woman escaped, and a neighbor saw Ritchey’s death at the hands of Cruz.
Rodney Gene Beeler
Date of offense:December 30, 1985
Date of sentence:May 5, 1989
Victims:Anthony Joseph Stevenson
Crime:Fatal shooting of Anthony J. Stevenson, 23, as he burglarized the man's Orange home.
Michael Leon Bell
Was convicted and sent to death row for the murder of a Turlock convenience store clerk during a robbery in 1997. Bell shot and killed Semon Francis for $261.
Ronald Lee Bell
Date of offense:February 2, 1978
Date of sentence:1979
Crime: Shot and killed the manager of Wolff's Jewelry Store in Richmond during a holdup. He fled with $30,000 in cash and jewelry.
Steven M. Bell
Date of offense:June 4, 1992
Date of sentence:March, 1994
Victims:11-year-old Joey Anderson
Crime: Steven M. Bell, convicted and sentenced to death by a jury for stabbing to death 11-year-old Joey Anderson in Logan Heights. The boy was killed while Bell, then 28, was stealing a television set so he could sell it and buy rock cocaine. The day after the June 4, 1992 murder Bell surrendered to police.
Date of offense:March 1981
Date of sentence:1982
Crime: Im March, 1981, 19-year-old Fernando Belmontes drove to the San Joaquin Valley home of an acquaintance, Steacy McConnell, hoping to steal her stereo while she was out. Unfortunately, Belmontes had miscalculated and McConnell was home — and in an apparent effort to do away with the only witness to his crime, Belmontes pounded her head 15 to 20 times with an iron dumbbell, crushing her skull. McConnell's parents arrived home later to find their 19-year-old daughter dead on the floor in a pool of blood. Meanwhile, Belmontes and two accomplices sold McConnell's stolen stereo for $100 and bought some beer.
Julian Arturo Beltran
Arrested Jan. 24 2002
Sentenced Nov. 2006
Charged with first-degree murder of his former girlfriend, 24-year-old Michele Barahona, in Sun Valley on Jan. 23, 2002. Two jurors voted to convict him of second-degree murder. Trial Judge Barry A. Taylor declared a mistrial on that count. However, the jurors convicted Beltran of the first-degree murders of his daughters, 2-year-old Natalie and 6-year-old Marissa. Like their mother, both were stabbed. The jury also found true the special circumstance of multiple murder.
Terry Douglas Bemore
Convicted and sentenced to Death for the 1985 robbery/murder of Kenneth Muck. The crime occurred August 26, 1985, at the Aztec Liquor Store in San Diego. The victim, 55-year-old Kenneth Muck, was the lone clerk on duty and was responsible for closing the store at 10:00 p.m. — the approximate time of the robbery and murder.
Vicente Figueroa Benavides
Sentenced to death for the 1991 rape/murder of a 21-month-old girl he was babysitting.7 The victim died of an acute blunt force penetrating injury of the anus. The anus was expanded to seven or eight times its normal size, and multiple internal organs were injured. The victim’s upper lip was torn, consistent with a hand being held over her mouth, and there was evidence of previous rib fractures. The special circumstances were felony-murder rape, felony murder rape, and felony-murder sodomy, all of which the proposal would eliminate as bases for the death penalty.
Eric Wayne Bennett
Date of offense:October 1994
Date of sentence :Jan. 9, 1997
Victim:Maria Evans Powell
Crime: Eric Wayne Bennett, 27, a handyman convicted in the October 1994 rape-murder of Maria Evans Powell, 50, two weeks after he installed vinyl flooring in her Laguna Hills home. Sentenced Jan. 9, 1997.
Richard Allen Benson
Convicted andsentenced to Death for killing a Nipomo woman and her three children in 1986. Longest serving Cali DR inmate.
Crime date: Sept. 6, 1987
Delano High School student Florence "Meme" Hildreth was 17 and lived with her mother when she was raped and murdered by Rodney Berryman. Her death ended what seemed a hopeful and promising future. She was vice president of the Black Student Union, competed in track and was training to become a medical receptionist. She was survived by a large family.
Convicted for the 1985 rape and murder of a Sacramento County woman. Jeffery Hronis was also a suspect at the time. Bertsch was convicted in 2000 thanks to improvements in DNA testing. DNA tests in 1989 showed that the chances of a match were 1 in 12 million for Bertsch and 1 in 8 million for Hronis. In a retesting in 1992 the FBI came up with 1 in 16000 for Hronis and 1 in 200 for Bertsch.
Bittaker and Norris hatched a plan to rape and kill local girls. Bittaker bought a 1977 GMC cargo van, which they came to call 'Murder Mack', because it had no side windows in the back and a large passenger side sliding door. From February to June 1979, they gave their plan a test run. They drove along the Pacific Coast Highway, stopped at beaches, talked to girls and took their pictures. When arrested police found close to 500 pictures among Bittaker's possessions. On June 24, 1979 they claimed their first real victim, 16-year-old Cindy Schaeffer. They picked her up near Redondo Beach, Norris forcing her into the van. He duct taped her mouth and bound her arms and legs. Bittaker drove the van to a fire road on San Gabriel Mountains out of sight of the highway. Both men raped the girl, and then Bittaker wrapped a straightened wire coat hanger around her neck. He tightened the wire with vice-grip pliers, strangling her to death. They wrapped her body in a plastic shower curtain and dumped it in a nearby canyon. They picked up 18-year-old Andrea Hall hitchhiking on July 8. Norris hid in the back of the van and Bittaker talked her into the van. After she had gotten in Bittaker offered her a drink from a cooler in the back. When she went to the cooler Norris jumped her, bound her arms and legs, and taped her mouth. They took her to the fire road and raped her several times. Bittaker dragged her from the van, and Norris left to get beer. When he returned Andrea was gone and Bittaker was looking at Polaroid pictures of her. He had stabbed her with an ice pick in both ears and when she wouldn't die fast enough, strangled her. He threw her body over a cliff. On September 3, while driving near Hermosa Beach, the pair spotted two girls on a bus stop bench and offered them a ride. Jackie Gilliam, 15, and Leah Lamp,13, accepted their offer. The girls became suspicious when Bittaker parked the van near a suburban tennis court. Leah went for the back door and Norris hit her in the head with a bat. A short scuffle broke out, but with Bittaker's help Norris subdued the teens and bound them both in the usual fashion. Bittaker then drove them to the fire road. They kept the girls alive for two days, raping and torturing them the whole time with a wire hanger and pliers. They even made an audio recording of the events. Eventually Bittaker stabbed Jackie in both ears with an ice pick. Like Andrea Hall she didn't die, and the men took turns strangling her until she died. Bittaker then strangled Leah while Norris hit her in the head with a sledgehammer seven times. They dumped the bodies over a cliff, the ice pick still in Jackie's head. They kidnapped Shirley Sanders on September 30, macing her and forcing her into the van. Both raped her, but she escaped. Unfortunately she couldn't identify the men and didn't know the license plate number of the van. They kidnapped 16-year-old Lynette Ledford on October 31, raping her and torturing her with a pair of pliers, while driving around Los Angeles instead of heading to their usual mountain spot. Again they tape recorded the whole thing, eventually strangling her with a wire hanger and pliers. Instead of tossing her body over a cliff, they left it on a random lawn in Hermosa Beach to see local reaction in the newspaper. The body was found the next day and caused quite a stir, being only days since the arrest of "Hillside Strangler" Angelo Buono.
Norris had been telling prison friend Jimmy Dalton all about the murders. Dalton thought the stories were lies until Ledford's body was found. He talked to his lawyer and they went to the Los Angeles Police Department with the information about Norris. Bittaker was convicted of rape, torture, kidnapping, and murder on February 17, 1981 and sentenced to death. As of February 2008, he is still on Death Row, where he still receives fan mail from women, which he signs using his nickname "Pliers" Bittaker. Norris was also sentenced, but was guaranteed not to serve a life sentence or be executed for his testimony against Bittaker.
Kenneth Ray Bivert
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the 1997 murder of another inmate at Salinas Valley State Prison.
Bivert was in prison for 3 cold blooded murders on the Sacramento River when was 17.
Erven Ray Blacksher
Sentenced to death for the 1995 murder of his sister, Versenia Lee, 46, and her 21-year-old son, Torey, were found at their home at 1231 Allston Way in west Berkeley. Both had been shot to death. Relatives told police that Blacksher argued with his sister over Torey's use of cocaine before the shooting.
James Nelson Blair
Convicted on July 19, 1985, of the attempted murders of Dorothy Green and Rhoda Miller by placing cyanide in a bottle of gin from which they drank. He was sentenced to a term of 14 years and 4 months, and his conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. In October 1986, after Dorothy Green died as a result of complications from the poisoning, Blair was charged with murder. On May 2, 1989, a jury found him guilty of murder in the first degree and found true the special circumstance that he intentionally killed the victim by poison. Approximately two months later, Blair was sentenced to death.
Robert M. Bloom Jr.
Convicted and sentenced to death in 1983 of his father Robert Bloom Sr.,his stepmother, Josephine Lou Bloom, and 8-year-old stepsister Sandra Hughes. Resentenced to Death in 2001.
Clifford Stanley Bolden
Convicted and sentenced to Death in San Francisco Superior Court in 1991 for the 1986 murder and robbery of 46-year-old Michael Pedersen, whom Bolden had picked up in a Castro Street bar.
Paul Clarence Bolin
Paul C. Bolin killed his assistant Vance Huffstuttler in Walker Basin for revealing a marijuana crop to campers Steve Mincy and Jim Wilson. Mincy was also killed, but Wilson survived and testified against Bolin who was sentenced to death in 1989.
Steven Wayne Bonilla
Convicted and sentenced to death in 1994 of the 1987 murder of Jerry Lee Harris, who owned several businesses in the East Bay area. Prosecutors said Bonilla, who owned 40 percent of a Pleasanton night club controlled by Harris, quarreled with the victim over the club’s operations and over Bonilla’s bid for an interest in other businesses. Harris disappeared in October 1987, a rock hound found his body at a remote Nevada located two months later. His car was later located at the Sacramento airport.
Convicted and sentenced to Death in 1999 of the 1995 murders of two girls and a young mother in a Riverside apartment he set on fire with the mother's baby inside. The 7-month-old boy was saved when firefighters discovered the bodies of Tricia Powalka, 19, Amanda Elliott, 15, and Corina Gandara, 12, inside the smoke-filled apartment on the morning of Aug. 10, 1995. All three were stabbed and slashed and Elliott also was shot.
Christopher Clark Box
Convicted and sentenced to Death of planning and carrying out a scheme, which turned violent, to steal marijuana and cash from the Clairemont duplex in which April Gilhousen, 20, lived with her son, Bryan, 3. Gilhousen, her son and Kevin Chandler, a transient living out of his van at the duplex, were beaten with a baseball bat and stabbed with a razor-edged box cutter were murdered in 1989.
Kevin Dewayn Boyce
Kevin Boyce, a member of the Crips street gang, received the death penalty in 2000 for murdering Shayne York, an off-duty Los Angeles County deputy, after finding York's badge during a 1997 hair salon robbery in Buena Park. Boyce kicked York in the side, called him a "pig" and shot him in the back of the head.
Richard Delmer Boyer
Richard Delmer Boyer, 40, convicted in the Dec. 7, 1982, killing and robbing of an elderly Fullerton couple--Aileen, 68, and Francis Harbitz, 67--who had befriended him. Sentenced Oct. 23, 1992.
Maurice D. Boyette
Maurice Boyette was convicted in 1993 in Alameda County Superior Court of the first degree murders of Gary Carter and Annette Devallier.
Date of Crime: 6/19/1991
Bracamontes kidnapped 9-year-old Laura Arroyo from her family’s condominium. He then molested, suffocated, and stabbed her with a pickaxe. The stabbing was done with so much force it chipped the sidewalk underneath Arroyo’s body. Arroyo’s body was found on a sidewalk the next day. Five witnesses saw Bracamontes near the Arroyo condominium that night. Fibers from Bracamontes sweater matched fibers found on Arroyos body. In 2003, DNA found on Arroyo’s body was matched to Bracamontes. The defense contested guilt by arguing Bracamontes would not have had time to kill Arroyo and that Bracamontes had nothing in his history that would suggest he was capable of murder. The defense also argued that the DNA evidence could have been tampered with or planted during the time between the murder in 1991 and the match to Bracamontes in 2003. During the penalty phase, Arroyo’s immediate family members testified about the impact her death had on them. The prosecution introduced evidence of Bracamontes’ prior domestic abuse conviction. The defense presented testimony from Bracamontes parents and family members. Bracamontes was also convicted of assault on a police officer for driving his car toward an officer that was attempting to arrest him.
Mark Alan Bradford
Mark Alan Bradford was sentenced Death in 1990 for raping, strangling and stabbing to death the manager of his Panorama City apartment building in 1988. The circumstances of this crime are appalling," Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Michael J. Farrell said before sentencing Bradford, convicted in May of murdering Lynea Kokes, 28, on April 18, 1988.
Roger Hoan Brady
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the Dec 27 1993 murder of Manhattan Beach Police Officer Martin
Ganz during a traffic stop. The 5-year veteran of the Manhattan Beach Police Dept was conducting a late night traffic stop in the Manhattan Village Mall. What Ganz thought was a routine traffic stop quickly turned tragic. As Ganz approached the vehicle, the driver started shooting. Ganz' nephew was on a ride-along, and witnessed the murder. After repeatedly shooting Ganz, the suspect reportedly approached the nephew, pointed and shot at him, only to have the gun misfire. On August 1, 1996, he was extradited to Los Angeles to stand trial for the murder of Officer Ganz. On Thursday, November 19, 1998, Roger Brady was convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances for the murder of Officer Ganz. After the penalty phase of the trial, the Jury returned with a verdict of Death for Roger Hoan Brady for the murder of Officer Martin Ganz. On Tuesday, March 16th, 1999, Roger Brady was sentenced to the death penalty in Superior Court, Department L, Torrance, California.
Michael Lamar Bramit
Convicted and sentenced to Deathfor the 1994 robbery-murder of Jose Fierros. Fierros was shot to death in front of several witnesses, as Bramit's accomplice went through his pockets in the parking
lot of a Banning mini-mart.
Apprehended months later, Bramit initially told police he was not at the scene, then sought to blame
his accomplice for the shooting, then admitted he shot the victim but said he did not intend to kill
him but that Fierros resisted with "superhuman strength."
Willie Branner aka James Willis Johnson
Was convicted of killing Edward Dukar on October 31, 1980, in Dukar's jewelry store in a small shopping center in Milpitas.
Spencer R. Brasure
Spencer Rawlin Brasure was convicted in August 1998 for torturing a Redondo Beach man on Sept. 7, 1996, by tying him to a makeshift electric chair. Brasure later burned Anthony Guest, 26, alive and left his body in a park near Gorman.
David Anthony Breaux
Was convicted 03/12//87 for murder, rape , kidnapping in 1984. He also was involved in a yard stabbing in 2005 of a prison guard with 2 other dr inmates.
Gary Brents, an Anaheim pimp, was sentenced to die in 2000 for his role in beating 26-year-old Kelly Ann Fordon, shoving her in the trunk of a car and setting it on fire while she was still alive.
Donald Louis Brooks
Sentenced to death for the March 24, 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend Lisa Kerr of Van Nuys. Brooks abused Kerr during their relationship and then stalked her after she called it off. He then left her body in the back seat of her burning car near the Roscoe Boulevard exit of the Hollywood Freeway. Brooks then escaped to Colorado Springs where he was captured on July 23, 1999 after his profile and picture was aired on a local television station.
Vincent Edward Brothers
Convicted and sentenced to Death in September 2007 for the July 6, 2003 murders of his wife, Joanie (née Harper), his sons, Marques and Marshall, his daughter, Lyndsey, and his mother-in-law, Earnestine Harper. On 15 May 2007, Brothers was convicted of each of the murders after jurors viewed 1,100 exhibits and heard testimonies from 137 witnesses. Brothers is believed to have used a .22-caliber gun and "a stabbing weapon" and his conviction carried the special circumstance of multiple murder. The same jury recommended that the death penalty by lethal injection be imposed on 29 May 2007. On September 27, 2007, the Court sentenced Brothers to death.
Albert G. Brown Jr.
Convicted and sentenced to Death for the 1980 rape and murder of 15yr Old Susan Jordan.
Andrew Lamont Brown
Convicted and sentenced in 1992 for the murder of 17-year-old Christina Ann Ramirez, of Riverside, during a carjacking.
John G. Brown a.k.a. Gordon Lee Mink
John George Brown, 50, convicted in the June 9, 1980, murder of Garden Grove Police Officer Donald Reed. Sentenced June 11, 1982.
Steven Brown was sentenced to death on 02/23/1996 for the murder of April Holley.
Steven Brown and another man,Charles Richardson, raped and sodomized 11-year-old April Holley and then drowned her in the bathtub of the trailer where she lived with her mother and older sister whom were not present on December 3, 1998 the night of the murder.
Sentenced to Death in 4 1995 murders over the drug trade. Killed in the Aug. 28, 1988, shootings in Lake View Terrace were convicted Bryant Family hit man Andre Armstrong, 31, and his partner, James Brown, 43. The two men, who according to prosecutors had threatened to steal business from the Bryant Family, were ambushed inside a cage-like metal security door at the house on Wheeler Avenue and fired upon repeatedly by assailants armed with shotguns and semi-automatic pistols. Also killed were Loretha Anderson, 23, of Seaside, and Chemise English, 2, who were waiting for the men in a parked car.
In Riverside, a jury recommended the death penalty for a mother who
stabbed her 3 children to death. Dora Buenrostro, 38, was convicted of murdering Susana, 9,
Vicente, 8, and Deidra, 4, in October 1994. All 3 children were stabbed in the neck. Jurors said the defendant showed a lack of remorse when she testified during the penalty hearings. Mrs. Buenrostro killed in a rage after a fight with her ex-husband, alleged Deputy District Attorney Michael Soccio. In his closing statement, he said she planned the killings to hurt Alex Buenrostro, then tried to frame him.
After her conviction, Mrs. Buenrostro lashed out at police in San Jacinto, where she lived, at prosecutors and her own attorneys. She denied killing her children and continued to blame her former husband.
Jeffree Jay Buettner
More than seven years after two men were accused of killing an El Cajon woman and leaving her body in a 55-gallon steel drum in Lake Elsinore, the trial began Monday with a prosecutor asking a jury, "How long can you hold your breath?"
Riverside County Deputy District Attorney John Aki jurors should keep that rhetorical question in mind as the trial began in the 2002 slaying of Stephanie Ann Benton.
Jeffree Jay Buettner, 34, of Menifee, and Glen Joseph Jones, 26, of Wildomar, could face the death penalty if convicted of murder charges and special circumstances that they killed Benton because she was a witness in a home burglary case and as an initiation into a white supremacist gang.
During his opening statement in the Riverside Hall of Justice, Aki told the jury that Jones and Buettner strangled and kidnapped Benton before hiding her car and her body.
Benton loaned her car to Jones on May 21, 2002. The same night, her 1993 red Toyota Celica was spotted by residents during a home burglary in Lakeland Village outside Lake Elsinore.
Benton was stopped by a Riverside County sheriff's deputy the next day and said Jones was driving her car at the time of the burglary. A week later, Aki said, Buettner and Jones plotted to kill her.
On May 28, police said, the two men picked up Benton in her car and beat her in the head with a flashlight before strangling her with Jones' belt. They were seen hiding her car in a barn and loading a pickup with a 55-gallon drum. Six days later, Benton's abandoned car was found.
"The stench of death surrounded her car, but no body was found," Aki said.
He showed a photo of the shape of Benton's body, bundled in blankets and tape, after it was discovered inside the barrel.
"Jeffree Buettner called her a rat. He said she was the person that was going to snitch Jones out," Aki said.
Sentenced to Death 4/23/10.
Bunyard's wife of three years, Elaine, a nurse's aide in Manteca, was days shy of delivering their baby girl in 1979. In anticipation of a stay in the maternity ward, she had packed a bag and kept it by the front door. But Jerry Bunyard wasn't as excited. The good-looking, well- spoken carpenter had been carrying on with a Tracy woman and thought his wife would "take him for everything he had" if he divorced her, a witness said. Enter Earlin Popham, a biker-type boyhood friend who had been helping the Bunyards build a home in Patterson. When Elaine Bunyard was alone in the kitchen, Popham broke an iron skillet on her skull. He then shot her in the head with a shotgun and tried to make the crime look like both a robbery and a suicide. Popham later testified that his buddy had promised him $1,000 to kill Elaine Bunyard. Popham received a sentence of 25 years to life in exchange for his testimony against Bunyard. California law requires special circumstances for a death sentence. They include multiple murder and murder for hire. Murder-for-hire prosecution parameters still were evolving, so Stockton prosecutors chose to go after Bunyard for multiple murder. A 1970 law -- which resulted from the prosecution of a Stockton man who had killed his ex-wife's fetus -- makes no differentiation between children who are born and those who aren't. Jacobsen doesn't recall any significance attached to the Bunyard trial as a test case for the fetal murder law. He does recall that prosecutors played up evidence that Elaine Bunyard struggled mightily against her attacker, as if "fighting to stay alive for her unborn child."
Michael Ray Burgener
Convicted and Sentenced to Death in 1981. On Halloween morning 1980, defendant Michael Ray Burgener killed William Arias, a convenience store clerk, and emptied the store’s cash register of
Update: California Supreme Court Tossed Death Sentence on 5/8/09.
Shaun Kareem Burney
Convicted and sentenced to Death on 9/16/94 in the June 10, 1992 murder of Joseph Andrew
Convicted and sentenced to Death for the 1983 murder of Gulshakar Khwaja. The murder was committed during the robbery of Gulshakar’s son, Anwar Khwaja. On the afternoon of February 25, 1983, Anwar Khwaja, the robbery victim and son of the murder victim, was parked in front of his mother’s home waiting for her and other family members to get into his car. Burton approached the vehicle, pointed a gun at Khwaja’s face, and demanded money. Even though Khwaja complied with the demand by telling Burton to take his money—a cloth bag containing $190 in coins he had just picked up from a Long Beach branch of the Bank of America—Burton shot him in the forehead and then through the eye. Khwaja, who remained conscious, saw Burton take the money bag. Burton was smiling or laughing contentedly. When Khwaja’s mother, Gulshakar Khwaja, approached the car, Burton shot her, fatally, in the chest. Khwaja identified Burton as the gunman at trial. So did Robert Cordova, a neighbor who looked out the window and saw Burton running down the street carrying a gun and a white canvas bag.
Raymond Oscar Butler
Convicted and sentenced to Death in 1996 a 20-year-old gang member who shot and killed two college students from Japan during a carjacking. The man, Raymond Oscar Butler, was convicted last month of murdering Takuma Ito and Go Matsuura, both 19, on March 25, 1994. Mr. Butler was accused of shooting them in the back of the head, robbing them and taking Mr. Ito's 1994 Honda Civic. The two students had stopped in a supermarket parking lot in San Pedro after having dinner with friends. The killings occurred during a wave of carjackings in the Los Angeles area. Mr. Ito was a Japanese citizen, and Mr. Matsuura was an American who grew up in Japan. Both were film students at Marymount College.