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Riverside police officer murder trial: Green found guilty of killing Officer Bonaminio

May 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Earl Ellis Green was found guilty on Friday of beating a Riverside police officer, and then shooting and killing him with the officer's own gun in 2010.

It took a jury of eight men and four women just three hours to reach a decision.

Green, 46, was convicted of one count of murder, along with two special circumstances for the murder of a police officer and murder to avoid imminent arrest.

Green did not react to the verdict, but Officer Ryan Bonaminio's family and friends wiped away tears as the verdict was read. While the officer's family did not speak on Friday, the Riverside Police Department called the verdict justice served.

"As a department, we are thinking of them right now and hoping that this brings them the closure they're looking for," said Riverside Police Asst. Chief Christopher Vicino.

Authorities say on the night of Nov. 7, 2010, Bonaminio, 27, tried to pull over a semi-truck believed to be involved in a hit-and-run collision near the 60 Freeway. After a police chase, Green and Bonaminio got into a foot pursuit in Fairmount Park. Police say Bonaminio slipped on wet grass while trying to stop Green, who then attacked Bonaminio with a steel pipe, grabbed his service gun and shot him.

During the two-week trial, Green's defense team tried to argue for second-degree murder asking the jury to consider Green's state of mind at the time.

But in the end, jurors sided with the prosecution. The penalty phase of the trial is next, with jurors asked to recommend either death sentence or life in prison without possibility of parole.


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