Star Athlete Murdered After Being Mistaken for Gang Member
Closing arguments heard in 2008 death of Jamiel Shaw II.
A red bookbag in the wrong Los Angeles neighborhood cost a star high school football player his life, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Jamiel Shaw II, 17, was murdered in 2008 by whom police believe to be was an 18th Street Gang member named Pedro Espinoza, who is now on trial for the murder.
Deputy District Attorney Allyson Ostrowski believes he shot Shaw execution-style in 2008 thinking he was a Bloods gang member because he was African American and was carrying a red Spider-Man backpack. Espinoza has a tattoo on his neck that says "BK" which in the gang world translates to "blood killer."
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Shaw died a few streets away from his home. His father heard the gunshots and found his son bleeding to death on the pavement. While the shooting occurred, Shaw was reportedly talking to his girlfriend on the phone and she claimed the last words she heard were, "Where are you from?"
Ostrowski claims that Espinoza shot Shaw in the stomach and then in the head execution style. Witnesses claim that Espinoza bragged about the murder — but Espinoza's defense attorney — points to the lack of a murder weapon and witness inconsistencies in their accounts of the shooting.
Jurors will begin deliberating today after closing arguments began yesterday.