Father Of Slain Football Standout To Sit With First Lady During Trump’s Speech

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The father of a slain Los Angeles High School football standout will sit beside the first lady Tuesday during President Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress.

A gang member — who was later identified as Pedro Espinoza — shot and killed Jamiel Shaw II in 2008 near his Arlington Heights home. Prosecutors say the gunman mistakenly perceived him as a gang rival because he was carrying a red Spider-Man backpack.

Espinoza was convicted of first-degree murder in 2012 and was sentenced to death. He was living in the U.S. illegally at the time of the killing, and had been freed from jail two days before the shooting without immigration authorities placing a hold on him.

Other guests who will be seated beside Melania include:

— Jessica Davis and Susan Oliver, the widows of Placer County sheriff’s detective Michael Davis and Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy Danny Oliver who were killed in the line of duty in 2014 by a man living in the nation illegally

— Megan Crowley, who was 15 months old when she was diagnosed with Pompe disease, a rare inherited neuromuscular disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness.

— Denisha Merriweather, who benefited from a Florida program that awards scholarships to children of low-income families to attend private schools.

— Maureen McCarthy Scalia, the widow of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

The speech will begin at 6 p.m., with the theme of the renewal of the American spirit, in the House chamber. It continues the tradition of presidents delivering a formal address to a joint session of Congress during their inaugural year.

Trump will deliver his first State of the Union in 2018.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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