The California state Supreme Court yesterday affirmed the death sentence imposed for the murder of a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff, rejecting the defendant’s claim that the special circumstance of killing a peace officer in retaliation for the performance of official duties requires proof of specific acts against the defendant which caused him to form the intent to kill the officer.

The Metropolitan News-Enterprise is reporting the justices unanimously affirmed Kevin Dewayne Boyce’s conviction and sentence on charges of first degree murder, with special circumstances of killing a peace officer in retaliation for the performance of his duties and of murder during the commission of a felony robbery and burglary. Orange Superior Court Judge Frank Fasel imposed the death sentence for the murder of Deputy Sheriff Shayne York.

York was killed at an Orange County salon where he and his fiancée, fellow deputy Jennifer Parish, were going to have their hair styled by Parish’s sister.

According to trial testimony, Boyce and Andre Willis came into the Buena Park salon on Aug. 14, 1997, carrying guns. The men demanded money from the cash register which contained $11.

Court testimony shows that when the defendant learned that Shayne York was a deputy sheriff, he shot him in the head as he lay on the floor.

There was additional evidence that the defendant was a Crips gang member, incarcerated in 1994 at the facility where Deputy York worked. This independent evidence is consistent with the defendant’s remarks to York, and reflects his motive for the murder.