Sunday, 24 June 2012
Man sentenced to death for raping, murdering teen girl whose body was set on fire in L.A. alley
LOS ANGELES - An ex-convict was sentenced today to death for raping and murdering a teenage girl whose body was set on fire in a Los Angeles alley nearly nine years ago.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Bob S. Bowers Jr. denied an automatic motion to reduce the jury's recommendation of a death sentence for Latece Megale Brown, calling the Oct. 23, 2003, rape and suffocation of 16-year-old Jacquiese Williams a "cold, vicious murder."
The "weight of the evidence supports the jury's verdict of death" for the 41-year-old defendant, the judge said. Brown -- who weighed somewhere between 450 and 500 pounds at the time -- sat on the girl until she became lifeless and then set her body on fire in an attempt to conceal evidence, according to Bowers.
Jurors deadlocked on another murder charge against Brown that stemmed from the Feb. 24, 2003, shooting death of 21-year-old Aisha High, but convicted Brown of raping her. Prosecutors are expected to decide within the next few weeks if they want to retry Brown for High's slaying, according to Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman.
Brown also was convicted April 11 of sexually assaulting three other girls and women ranging in age from 14 to 25 and kidnapping another woman who was able to escape and run across the street to a sheriff's patrol car.
"I'm glad that justice was served ... I'm glad that I'm alive today," one of the rape victims told the judge, noting that her family could have been in court instead if things had turned out differently.
The woman who managed to escape also was in court, but did not address the judge. Outside court, she said she hoped Brown "rots in that prison cell."
Read More: LA Daily News