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Espinoza to stand trial for Shaw murder

June 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A judge determined Thursday there was enough evidence presented in a preliminary hearing to charge 19-year-old Pedro Espinoza with Jamiel Shaw Jr.'s murder. Espinoza is to be arraigned July 3 in downtown L.A.A preliminary hearing was held Wednesday for an alleged gang member accused of shooting and killing a local high-school football star.

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Wednesday's hearing was meant to determine if there is enough evidence to charge 19-year-old Pedro Espinoza with the murder of Jamiel Shaw Jr. This case has become more than a murder investigation, as it has touched on issues of race and illegal immigration.

Wednesday in court, Espinoza sat silently for most of the proceedings. The reputed gang member spoke only to confirm his name.

Meanwhile, a woman testified Wednesday about how she saw a Hispanic man shoot her neighbor, Jamiel Shaw Jr., in front of his Arlington Heights home. The woman testified that Shaw was shot as he walked down the sidewalk, then shot again as he lay bleeding.

The 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw Jr. was a high-school football star with no gang affiliation. Police say he was returning home from a trip to the mall.

Espinoza is accused of committing the murder the day after he was released from jail after being held on a weapons charge. Since Espinoza is an illegal immigrant, Shaw's family says he should have been deported, rather than set free.

Wednesday, Shaw's family said they were outraged that defense attorneys were attempting to make this out to be a gang-on-gang crime.

"I used to always tell him to do the right thing, I just prayed, 'Lord, let my son grow up to be a model citizen and let him be productive to society,' and now they try and tear him down? I don't like that," said Anita Shaw, Jamiel Jr.'s mother.

"He'd never been suspended from school, he'd never been arrested, no school police reports, no principals, there's nothing there, so they have to find something, because if you notice, no one is focusing on all those things," said Jamiel Shaw Sr.

 

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