Crime & Justice

Los Angeles jury begins considering death penalty in racially charged Cheryl Green murder

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A Los Angeles jury on Monday begins considering whether to recommend the death penalty for a Latino gang member involved in the racially motivated murder of a black girl four years ago.

The murder of Cheryl Green rocked Los Angeles and attracted national attention. Prosecutors said Jonathan Fajardo, a member of the 204th Street gang, walked up and shot the 14-year-old eighth grader because she was black.

Green was hanging out with friends after school about a block from her house. The shooting wounded three other teens.

Fajardo’s gang had long controlled their tiny Harbor Gateway neighborhood off the 110 Freeway near San Pedro, and didn’t like African-Americans moving in. A jury also convicted 22-year-old Fajardo and 23-year-old Daniel Aguilar of stabbing to death a man they believed had snitched to police about the murder.

A judge will ask jurors to recommend whether Fajardo should get the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. Aguilar could face life in prison without parole.

KPCC wire services contributed to this report.