killer undergoes death

A California jury imposed the death sentence upon a gang member who shot down a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in 2005.

Jurors deliberated for less than a day before reaching their verdict against Jose Luis Orozco, 29, who was convicted last month of killing Deputy Luis Gerardo "Jerry" Ortiz, a 15-year veteran and newly married father of two boys.

Formal sentencing was set for May 3.

Ortiz, 35, had been assigned to the local sheriff's gang enforcement unit. He died June 24, 2005, outside an apartment south of Los Angeles where he had been investigating the shooting of a man who was wounded while doing yard work. Orozco was a suspect in that case and was later found guilty of attempted murder.

Orozco, who has been jailed without bail since his arrest, also was convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon. Jurors found true the special circumstances of murder of a peace officer intentionally killed while performing his duties, murder to avoid arrest, street gang murder and lying in wait.

Before it adjourned to deliberate Monday, the jury asked to watch again a DVD that features Orozco laughing about the publicity surrounding the shooting.

The DVD captures a conversation between Orozco and two friends in a holding cell in July 2005, about two weeks after Ortiz was killed. Orozco is heard laughing about the publicity, including a segment dedicated to him on "America's Most Wanted," and his photo being broadcast on jumbo video screens on the Las Vegas Strip.

Orozco also discussed destroying evidence in the case.

The DVD was featured prominently during the trial.

"What is the appropriate punishment for someone who not only doesn't show remorse, he revels in his notoriety ... whose life is a moral failure (and whose legacy is) so much destruction and pain?" prosecutor Lowell Anger said.

Orozco's attorney portrayed his client as a man who got mixed up with the wrong crowd and was heavily dependent on drugs.

"We are in no way telling you that he is not an evil, bad (person)," attorney Stan Perlo said. "But there are some things to be considered in sparing his life."

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Author`s name Angela Antonova