Con­vic­tion tossed in killing of LAPD of­fi­cer 37 years ago

Antelope Valley Press - - NEWS -

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Cal­i­for­nia Supreme Court de­cided unan­i­mously Thurs­day to over­turn a man’s con­vic­tion in the killing of a Los Angeles Po­lice De­part­ment of­fi­cer 37 years ago dur­ing a traf­fic stop, ac­cord­ing to a news­pa­per report.

Cit­ing ex­ten­sive ev­i­dence that the de­fense lawyer for Ken­neth Earl Gay was in­com­pe­tent, the state high court re­versed the con­vic­tion that sent Gay to death row in Of­fi­cer Paul Verna’s killing in 1983, the Los Angeles Times re­ported. Gay is now 60.

The court over­turned Gay’s death sen­tence years ago on the grounds he had an in­ad­e­quate lawyer, and a new trial was held on whether he should be con­demned to death. An­other jury rec­om­mended death, but the sec­ond death sen­tence also was over­turned.

Gay then ar­gued that his lawyer, Daye Shinn, also botched the guilty phase of his trial. Shinn, who was later dis­barred and has since died, lied to get Gay’s case, ac­cord­ing to ev­i­dence.

The lawyer also coun­seled the de­fen­dant to ad­mit to in­crim­i­nat­ing ev­i­dence and failed to in­tro­duce ev­i­dence that might have per­suaded a jury to ac­quit him or spare his life, the news­pa­per said.

Both Gay and a co-de­fen­dant, Ray­nard Cum­mings, were pas­sen­gers in the stolen car stopped by mo­tor­cy­cle of­fi­cer Verna. Wit­nesses dis­agreed about which man shot Verna. Both were con­victed and sen­tenced to death.

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