LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A jury recommended a death sentence Tuesday for a 34-year-old man convicted of murdering four people outside a Northridge boarding home three years ago.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for a little over a day before recommending that Ka Pasasouk be sent to death row for the Dec. 2, 2012 shooting deaths of Teofilo Navales, 49, of Castaic; Robert Calabia, 34, of Los Angeles; Amanda Ghossein, 24, of Monterey Park; and Jennifer Kim, 26, of Montebello.
Pasasouk, who was found guilty on Nov. 19 of four counts of first-degree murder, is scheduled to be formally sentenced Feb. 5.
In the guilt phase of the trial, Deputy District Attorney Dan Akemon told the jury that Pasasouk was “fueled by drugs and alcohol” and had the “perfect opportunity for vengeance,” along with the perfect opportunity for a robbery, when he came across Navales — with whom he had an altercation months earlier — in a dark and confined area and shot him twice.
The prosecutor said Calabia, Ghossein and Kim were shot to death to silence them as potential witnesses as Pasasouk was “trying to get away with murder.”
Defense attorney James Goldstein had urged jurors to consider the lesser charge of second-degree murder, arguing that his client’s judgment was “impaired” by being under the influence and that he could not have premeditated the killings.
Last year, family members of the victims filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Probation Chief Jerry Powers, alleging that they didn’t do enough to protect the public from Pasasouk once he was released from prison in January 2012.
Following a subsequent arrest for drug possession, Pasasouk was released from custody and put into a drug diversion program, despite a long criminal history, according to the plaintiffs’ attorney.
A judge dismissed the civil rights case in August, ruling that the government officials were immune from liability.
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