Man convicted in Harbor Gateway killing may get death penalty

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A Los Angeles jury today recommended the death penalty for the man convicted of killing a 14-year-old girl in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles. Evidence indicated that the Latino gang member shot the teen because she was black.

When it recommended a death sentence for Jonathan Fajardo, the jury factored in hate crime evidence in the shooting death of 14-year-old Cheryl Green. It also considered the fatal stabbing of a potential witness in the case weeks after Green’s death in mid-December 2006.

Jurors also found Fajardo guilty of seven counts of attempted murder because he shot at people who stood near Green by a Harbor Gateway intersection. Fajardo was a gang member who conspired with another man in the stabbing death of Christopher Ash — a 25-year-old who had not seen the earlier shooting but who may have talked with police about it.

The jury convicted both men involved in that stabbing of first-degree murder. When 22-year-old Fajardo faces a judge again in January, he’ll hear whether he’ll get a death sentence or life in prison without the possibility of parole.