The 1988 killing of Piirisild, 52, stunned Estonian immigrants in Los Angeles. Piirisild, an Estonian community activist, and her husband had met Waidla and Sakarias through a group opposed to Soviet occupation of the Baltic states. At first the couple warmly embraced the young men, who had defected from the Soviet Army and escaped to West Germany. The Piirisilds invited Waidla to live with them. For a year, he did jobs around the house in return for room and board. Sakarias visited. Eventually, the Piirisilds began to feel alarmed by Waidla's behavior, court records say. Waidla demanded money for the work he had done and threatened to report the couple for construction done without a permit. The Piirisilds evicted him. On a July morning when the Piirisilds were not at home, Waidla and Sakarias, then 21, broke into the house. When Piirisild returned, the two men attacked and killed her, stole some jewelry and credit cards, and fled. They were arrested weeks later near the Canadian border. The evidence, including the defendants' statements to police, indicated that Waidla had attacked first, hitting Piirisild with a hatchet when she entered the door. Sakarias then stabbed her with a knife. The men later dragged Piirisild from the living room to her bedroom. Sakarias told police he then hit her twice with the hatchet.
[Byron Paul Wilson
Along with accomplice, Aswad Pops, both of Long Beach, was convicted of killing Charles Hurd, 33, of Corona, owner of the Wheels N Stuff carwash on Sportsman Drive, and three of his employees--Michael Hoard, 41, Shawn Potter, 20, and Jessie Dunn, 36, all of Compton--died Jan. 25, 1998, during the suspects' violent quest for money and merchandise.
Convicted and sentenced to Death for the 1984 murder of an Arizona tool salesman whose body was found inside a van in a Long Beach parking lot. Robert Paul Wilson’s sentenced to Death for the murder of his employer, Roy Swader.
Sentenced to death for the murder of Erika Beeson on Dec. 22, 1995. The jury also determined that his partner in the slaying, Norman Patterson, 27, should spend the rest of his days in prison with no chance of release. The evidence showed both men were guilty of beating, choking and stabbing 20-year-old Beeson to death, while robbing her in her Claremont Avenue apartment.
Steve Woodruff went to death row for murdering Riverside police detective Doug Jacobs.
Theodore John Wrest
Convicted in 1988 for the murder of 2 Santa Barbara women in 1987.
William Lee Wright Jr.
Wright was arrested in Ontario in March 2000 after shooting his ex-wife in the face and taking hostages after police showed up the next day to arrest him. He had previously been convicted in San Bernardino County in connection with that case.
The murder count stemmed from the March 2000 shooting of Philip Curtis at a house in Pomona. Two other men who were shot at the same time survived.
Two attempted murder counts stemmed from a February 2000 attack on two men in a Long Beach apartment. One man was shot and another was stabbed.
A gun seized by Ontario police in the home where he was arrested was later linked to the attacks in Pomona and Long Beach, said Deputy District Attorney John Monaghan.
Sacramento area man was sentenced to death Tuesday for killing his sister and brother-in-law in their El Cerrito home in 2006, even though the couple's son said his parents did not believe in the death penalty and would not have wanted someone executed in their names. Edward Wycoff, who turned 41 Tuesday and had asked to be sentenced on his birthday, was convicted in October of two counts of first-degree murder with enhancements for the use of a knife and a wheelbarrow handle for the murders of Julie Rogers, 47, and her husband Paul Rogers, 48. Wycoff, known as "uncle Ted," broke into Julie and Paul Rogers' home at 1467 Rifle Range Road in the El Cerrito hills at 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 31, 2006, and stabbed and bludgeoned the couple to death while 2 of their 3 children hid in a bedroom and called 911. During trial, Wycoff, who served as his own attorney, claimed that he had a right to "dispose of" his sister and her husband because they were "bad people" and were out to get him. He said he didn't like how they were raising their children, he didn't approve of their liberal political views and he believed they were trying to steal his house from him. They had also failed to invite him to their house to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas that year.
Sentenced to Death 12/8/09
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the murder of Doris Horrell, a 73-year-old resident of Citrus Heights, on February 13, 1988. Sheriff’s deputies found her body about 9:40 p.m. in an open field west of Interstate 5 in Sacramento County, while setting flares to direct traffic out of the Arco Arena. Horrell had left a Valentine’s Day party earlier that evening in her car to pick up an acquaintance at the airport. She was wearing a bright red dress, jewelry and designer eyeglasses. Police found no jewelry, eyeglasses, keys or purse. Nor did they find a coat, but they did find three lavender-colored buttons. Postmortem examination revealed the cause of death as six gunshot wounds to the head and left side of the body, any of which could have been fatal.
Tony Ricky Yonko
A career criminal was sentenced to death for the hammer bludgeoning murder of a Lake Elsinore homeowner who interrupted a burglary.
Motions for a new trial and modification of the sentence that jurors recommended for 47-year-old Tony Ricky Yonko were denied by Riverside Superior Court Judge Judith Clark, who called the crime ``particularly gruesome.''
Before his sentence was imposed, a subdued Yonko addressed the judge, who presided over the criminal, penalty and competency phases of his case.
``Thank you, your honor,'' he said simply.
Yonko was convicted of murder -- with special circumstance allegations that made him eligible for a death sentence -- for killing 42-year-old Paul Ngo, who surprised Yonko as he was stealing the victim's safe on Oct. 22, 2002.
Donald Ray Young
Date of Crime: 1995
The brothers killed five patrons and wounded the owner of the “Pato’s Place” bar during a robbery. They claimed innocence, and presented evidence of their good characters. Brother Timothy Young also sentenced to Death.
Jeffrey Scott Young
Convicted in October 2005 of two counts of first-degree murder during a robbery and other charges stemming from the July 18, 1999, shooting deaths of Teresa Perez and Jack Reynolds. Sentenced to Death Nov 2006.
Convicted of two 1989 drug-related murders in Oakland
Timothy James Young
Date of Crime: 1995
The brothers killed five patrons and wounded the owner of the “Pato’s Place” bar during a robbery. They claimed innocence, and presented evidence of their good characters. Brother Donald also sentenced to Death.
Convicted and sentenced to Death in 1993 for the 1988 murder of Luis Reyna.
Zambrano, then 44 and a Berkeley Waterfront Commission member, in January 1988 tried to bludgeon to death University of California immunology professor Robert Mishell and his wife, Barbara, in their Berkeley home. The professor suffered two skull fractures; he later suffered memory problems and had to quit teaching and take a disability retirement. His wife suffered grave brain damage and was severely, permanently disabled. Zambrano, a contractor, had done remodeling work on the Mishells' home but had no other relationship with them, yet believed the Mishells were responsible for anonymous phone calls to his wife exposing his extramarital affair. He later confessed the attempted murders to Luis Reyna, a friend and fellow waterfront commissioner, and Reyna told police. Zambrano made bail in the assault case July 15, 1988, and Reyna was last seen alive three days later, on his way to meet with Zambrano. Reyna's decapitated and dismembered body was found eight days after that near the Lafayette Reservoir; Zambrano, meanwhile, had fled to Mexico. Federal agents arrested Zambrano in March 1989 in Palm Springs, where he'd followed his girlfriend. At his 1993 trial, he admitted bludgeoning the Mishells with a meat tenderizer, but said Reyna had been shot accidentally as they struggled over a gun.
Samuel Jiminez Zamudio
Convicted and sentenced to Death in 1997 of robbing and murdering Elmer and Gladys Benson, an elderly couple.
Conrad J. Zapien
Convicted in 1987 for murdering a Lompoc mother of five in her home in 1984.
Louis Rangel Zaragoza
Convicted and sentenced to Death in 2001 for the murder of David Gaines. David Gaines, 36, died in 1999 trying to protect his elderly father from a robber.