Reporting Pete Demetriou
RIVERSIDE (CBS) — A parolee who beat and gunned down a Riverside police officer trying to arrest him at the end of a foot chase was sentenced to death Monday.
KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou reports Earl Ellis Green, 46, was convicted May 11 of murdering Officer Ryan Patrick Bonaminio, and less than four weeks later, the same eight-man, four-woman jury recommended that he be executed for the crime.
During the penalty trial, Deputy District Attorney Mike Hestrin pointed to repeated instances of violence perpetrated by Green — including spousal beatings, a near-fatal assault on a fellow inmate and a takeover robbery — that proved the ex-con was a hardened criminal.
But the most emotional moment came when Jeri Bonaminio, mother of the slain officer, gave a tearful presentation in court that made Green himself lower his head and cry.
Bonamino explained she felt a different degree of satisfaction while in court.
“I got to see him in the jail jumpsuit, always having to see him in suits, I finally got to see the evil person that he is in his jail suit and his shackles, that made me feel good,” she said.
Deputy Public Defender O.G. Magno acknowledged that his client’s actions were “inexcusable, unjustifiable and unforgivable,” but pleaded with jurors to take into account the challenges and hardships Green had endured, particularly in his formative years.
Magno said Green witnessed his father beat his mother and came of age in a public housing project where violence was a way of life, having few role models and no moral guidance.
“By the time he’s 16, he is diagnosed with ADHD, he’s delinquent, immature, out of control and trusts no one. Earl is broken,” the attorney said.
Green killed Bonaminio after the officer attempted to stop him for fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run fender-bender on Market Street on the night of Nov. 7, 2010. The ex-con was in a stolen semi truck at the time.
Green fled through Fairmount Park, into the parking lot of the nearby Center for Spiritual Living on Ridge Road. As Bonaminio caught up with the defendant, the officer lost his footing in a freshly watered planter and fell in the mud.
Green pounced on the lawman, smashing him in the head three times with a steel pipe. The defendant then grabbed the severely injured officer’s .40-caliber Glock pistol and, as Bonaminio stood to face him with his hands in front of his face, Green shot him in the head at point-blank range.
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