A California man convicted of killing one San Diego police officer and wounding another was sentenced to death Friday. The sentence is largely symbolic. No one has been executed in the state since 2006 and the governor has issued a moratorium on capital punishment.
Jesse Michael Gomez, 58, was convicted last year of murder and a special circumstance allegation of killing a police officer for the July 28, 2016, shooting of SDPD Officer Jonathan "J.D." De Guzman, 43. The jury recommended Gomez be sentenced to death for De Guzman's slaying and also convicted him of the attempted murder of De Guzman's partner, Wade Irwin, as well as a count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
De Guzman, a 16-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department, died at a hospital, while Irwin was hospitalized for nearly a month for a gunshot to the throat, CBS 8 reported.
Gomez, who testified on his own behalf, said he did not realize the men who approached him that night were law enforcement and instead thought they were gang members poised to kill him.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Frederick Link did not buy that excuse. "For anyone to say Mr. Gomez didn't know what was going on is ridiculous," said the judge.
Link also angrily rejected Gomez' attorneys' accusations of bias in the case.
The judge supported the jury's recommendation for the death penalty.