Wagswoofs – Three years ago, a Compton man opened fire on two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who were sitting in a patrol vehicle at a Metro station. The man was sentenced on Wednesday to 166 years and 8 months to life in prison for the shooting, which left the deputies wounded.
Just five weeks ago, Deonte Lee Murray was found guilty by a jury on 10 different counts. These included two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer for the Sept. 12, 2020 attack on Deputies Claudia Apolinar and Emmanuel Perez-Perez. The entire incident was recorded on surveillance video outside a Compton transit center.
Murray was found guilty by the jury of multiple charges, including attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, carjacking, robbery, and four counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.
During the trial, Deputy District Attorney Stephen Lonseth presented evidence indicating that Murray had intentionally shot four individuals, with the intention of killing three of them. This included a deliberate attempt to ambush two sheriff’s deputies, which Lonseth argued was not a sudden impulse on Murray’s part.
According to Lonseth, Murray reportedly expressed disbelief that the deputies had not died after the incident.
During the hearing, the prosecutor accused Murray of intentionally attempting to kill Claudia Apolinar and Emmanuel Perez-Perez. The prosecutor emphasized that Murray had taken deliberate actions to end their lives and that it was not a spontaneous act.
On Monday, the department announced that the second deputy who was ambushed in Compton, Los Angeles County, has been discharged from the hospital.
Lonseth praised the survival of the individuals involved as nothing short of a miracle. He credited the heroic actions of Apolinar, who valiantly tried to help her partner despite being injured in the jaw and arms.
During the hearing, Apolinar and Perez-Perez delivered powerful victim impact statements, sharing the challenges they have faced during their recovery. Their statements were filled with raw and emotional accounts of their experiences.
Perez-Perez expressed her long-held anger, stating, “There are so many words that come to mind… I have been feeling this way for quite some time.”
Perez-Perez spoke and Murray chuckled while shaking his head.
In discussing his journey to recovery, Perez-Perez acknowledges that he is still dealing with “mental injuries” that will have a lasting impact on his life.
He expressed, “I have experienced a great deal of pain, hurt, and sleepless nights.”
In her victim impact statement, Apolinar recollected the day of the shooting.
“The person who intended to murder deputies on that day was a coward,” she expressed. “We were faced with pure evil.”
According to her, Murray’s actions call for the harshest possible penalty.
In August, during his opening statement, the prosecutor informed jurors that Murray had “lost it” and was seeking revenge after his best friend, Sam Herrera, was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies while they were serving a search warrant in Compton on September 10, 2020. This incident occurred just two days before the ambush of Apolinar and Perez-Perez.
According to Lonseth, Murray repeatedly fired at a man whom he thought was an undercover detective near the Compton courthouse on September 10, 2020. After the shooting, he escaped in a black Mercedes-Benz that he had carjacked from someone who had been shot in the leg with a rifle nine days prior.
According to the prosecutor, the accused left the Mercedes-Benz near an elementary school and was taken into custody on September 15, 2020, after a police chase. During the chase, he threw a “ghost gun” out of the Toyota Solara he was operating before attempting to escape into a nearby neighborhood. However, he was later discovered hiding underneath a chicken coop in a resident’s backyard.
According to authorities, the gun used to shoot the sheriff’s deputies was a .40-caliber weapon, as determined by ballistics testing.
According to Murray’s attorney, Kate Hardie, her client was heavily under the influence of drugs and alcohol and was deeply grieving over the death of his closest friend who was shot and killed by other sheriff’s deputies just two days prior.
During the trial, the defense lawyer emphasized that the loss of someone close had a profound impact on Murray. He informed the jurors that the time between September 10th and 12th was the most challenging time in his client’s life. He highlighted that the closest person to Murray had been killed, which further intensified the emotional distress he was experiencing.
During the trial, Hardie stated that the defendant’s behavior was driven by alcohol, methamphetamine, and the sorrow of losing his closest friend. Hardie further emphasized that his actions were impulsive and not premeditated.
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