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Man accused of killing cop makes first court appearance

A California man who was accused of murdering two people made a court appearance on March 6. The man, who was reputed to be an active gang member, was accused of gunning down his cousin before killing a Whittier police officer and wounding his partner.

The deceased police officer, aged 53, was responding to a traffic accident on Feb. 20 when the accused 26-year-old man allegedly killed him. The officer's partner was also shot in the stomach though he survived his injuries. It was believed that he had killed his 47-year-old cousin in Los Angeles earlier the same day. Approximately 12 police officers were at the courthouse for the arraignment, though the court date was ultimately rescheduled to April 5.

The murder charges had special circumstance allegations attached due to the involvement of a police officer in the incident. The allegations included murdering a police officer who was performing his duties and murder in an attempt to avoid arrest. Additionally, the accused person was also charged with attempted murder of a police officer, possession of a firearm by a felon and carjacking.

Murder charges are serious in nature and can lead to lengthy prison sentences and other severe legal consequences. A criminal law attorney may determine what options the accused person has based on the evidence the prosecution has. In some cases, the attorney may fight the charges especially if the prosecution does not have strong evidence that the accused person was involved. Technicalities could also result in the dismissal of the charges. In other cases, the attorney may recommend a plea bargain that could reduce the severity of the penalties.

Source: Los Alamitos Patch, "Whittier Officer's Accused Killer Makes Monday Court Appearance", Ashley Ludwig, March 6, 2017

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