RIVERSIDE (CBS) — An ex-con was convicted Friday for the 2010 murder of a young Riverside police officer.
Earl Ellis Green, 46, was found guilty by an eight-man, four-woman jury of first-degree murder in the shooting death of 27-year-old Riverside police Officer Ryan Bonaminio. Green, who has a criminal history spanning 20 years, was also found guilty of one count of vehicle theft with a previous conviction for vehicle theft and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The jury will not decide whether to sentence Green to death or give him life in prison without the possibility of parole. The penalty phase of the trial will begin Monday, May 21.
Bonaminio, an Army veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, was killed the night of Nov. 7, 2010. The officer had pulled over a big-rig tractor that was involved in a hit-and-run collision on Highway 60. The driver, later identified as Green, ran into Fairmount Park, then back to the scene, where he attacked Bonaminio, then shot and killed him. Green also took Bonaminio’s service weapon.
Green was identified by a fingerprint found inside the big rig’s cab. He was arrested two days after the shooting outside a Target store, and Bonaminio’s gun was recovered at Green’s girlfriend’s house, prosecutors said.