Los Angeles County prosecutors announced Thursday that they will not seek the death penalty for a man who is awaiting a retrial for the June 1983 killing of a Los Angeles police officer in Lake View Terrace, with a judge subsequently rejecting a bid by the District Attorney's Office to dismiss allegations that could carry a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole.
Superior Court Judge Hayden Zacky ruled that it was “not in the interest of justice'' to dismiss the special circumstance allegations of murder of a peace officer in the performance of his duties and murder to avoid or prevent a lawful arrest, along with gun allegations, against Kenneth Earl Gay, now 63, in connection with the June 2, 1983, slaying of Officer Paul Verna.
Verna's widow and two sons spoke out in the San Fernando courtroom against the bid by the District Attorney's Office, which under new DA George Gascon is dropping all special enhancements, KFI/CNS.
The judge subsequently rejected the prosecution's request.
Meanwhile, in a courtroom miles away, a Pomona judge presiding over another cop killing case also turned down a request by the District Attorney's Office to dismiss special circumstance allegations against the defendant.
Isaias De Jesus Valencia could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is convicted of the March 2018 shooting death of Pomona police Officer Greggory Casillas.