Earl Ellis Green trial: Riverside jury begins hearing evidence in penalty phase

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A Riverside jury begins hearing evidence this week in the penalty phase of convicted cop killer Earl Ellis Green.

Earlier this month, that jury convicted Green of gunning down 27-year-old officer and Iraq war veteran Ryan Bonaminio in 2010.

Green was found guilty of killing Bonaminio after he fled the scene of a hit-and-run crash in a stolen big-rig. A witness says he saw Green lunge at Bonaminio after the officer slipped and fell while chasing the suspect through a Riverside park.

He got hold of Bonaminio’s pistol and shot him three times.

Jurors returned the guilty verdict after just a few hours of deliberation. They’ll now decide if Green should be sentenced to death or spend the rest of his life in prison.

Green’s attorneys, who failed to sway the jury with claims that Green was emotionally disturbed at the time of the murder, are expected to present character witnesses. Prosecutors are likely to emphasize Green’s criminal past, which includes convictions for domestic violence and assaulting a police officer.

The penalty phase of the trial is expected to last about a week.

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