Gang Member Sentenced to Death for Murder of Local Student

Gang member Pedro Espinoza was recently sentenced to death for the murder of Arlington Heights resident and Los Angeles High School student 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw, Jr.

Espinoza shot non-gang member Shaw in the abdomen and then in the head for carrying a red Spider-Man backpack on March 2, 2008. Mistaking Shaw for a gang rival because of the color of his backpack and in an effort to improve his status in his gang, Espinoza shot the unarmed Shaw near the teenager’s house.

Deputy District Attorney Allyson Ostrowski told jurors that Espinoza, a Latino, “chose to execute a 17-year-old for the color of his skin and the color of his backpack,” calling the slaying of Shaw, a “cold-blooded, calculated execution.”

Shaw was an exceptional athlete with several universities showing interest, including Stanford and Rutgers.



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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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