JURY SAYS MEN KILLED MOM IN FRONT OF SON.
Byline: Jesse Hiestand Staff Writer
Nearly six years after he saw his mother shot to death on the way to Bible class, 15-year-old Joshua Myles sat in a Van Nuys courtroom Tuesday as a jury pronounced two men guilty of her murder.
``It's over. The only thing I could do is smile - it's over,'' Myles said. ``The first time I testified, it was kind of scary to see those guys, but all I could do now is laugh.
``I have my mom's heart in me. She was a really great person.''
Myles, then 9, rode with his mother, Laurie Myles of North Hills, when she went to pick up one of her daughters from a Bible-study class in Northridge on Sept. 15, 1993, and was accosted ac·cost
tr.v. ac·cost·ed, ac·cost·ing, ac·costs
1. To approach and speak to boldly or aggressively, as with a demand or request.
2. To solicit for sex. by Etienne Moore and LaCedrick Johnson.
After she handed over her purse and briefcase at gunpoint, Moore shot her to death and then drove off with Johnson. Joshua ran into the school, yelling that his mother had been shot and needed help.
Moore, 25, a former Faith Baptist High School basketball star, was convicted of the special circumstances special circumstances n. in criminal cases, particularly homicides, actions of the accused or the situation under which the crime was committed for which state statutes allow or require imposition of a more severe punishment. of murder during a robbery and multiple murder. Laurie Myles was the first of two women killed in a crime spree. The jury now must decide whether to recommend the death penalty.
Johnson, 23, of Canoga Park was convicted of murder, conspiracy and robbery and the special circumstance of murder during a robbery. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, so he will spend life in prison without the possibility of parole.
After the verdicts were read in Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. Superior Court, Joshua Myles said the conviction is bittersweet bittersweet, name for two unrelated plants, belonging to different families, both fall-fruiting woody vines sometimes cultivated for their decorative scarlet berries. justice because only Moore faces the possibility of a death sentence.
``All I can say is: I'll be there when it happens,'' he added.
Last week, at his middle school graduation, detectives on his mother's case marked the achievement by giving him a pocket watch on which was inscribed in·scribe
tr.v. in·scribed, in·scrib·ing, in·scribes
a. To write, print, carve, or engrave (words or letters) on or in a surface.
b. To mark or engrave (a surface) with words or letters. , ``Mom's so proud today & always.''
Deadly crime spree
Moore and Johnson were accused of committing a four-month series of robberies and shootings across the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. in 1993. Prosecutors said a third defendant, Shashonee Monette Solomon, had them kill his ex-girlfriend, Talin Kara Kara (kär`ə), river, c.140 mi (230 km) long, NE European and NW Siberian Russia. It flows N from the N Urals into the Kara Sea, forming part of the traditional border between European and Asian Russia. It is navigable in its lower course. Tarkhanian, 20.
Solomon, 35, and Moore were convicted of murdering Tarkhanian, but the jury deadlocked on whether there were special circumstances, so Solomon escaped the death penalty. He faces at least 25 years to life in prison.
Prosecutors said Solomon ordered Tarkhanian's death after she broke off their romance and threatened to tell his parole officer about his crimes.
She was shot six weeks after Myles was murdered. Her body was found slumped over the wheel of her car near De Soto de So·to , Hernando or Fernando 1496?-1542.
Spanish explorer who landed in Florida in 1539 with 600 men and set out to search for the fabled riches of the north. Avenue and the Simi Valley Simi Valley (sē`mē, sĭm`ē), city (1990 pop. 100,217), Ventura co., SW Calif. in an oil, fruit, and farm region; laid out 1887, inc. 1969. Freeway.
`I can finally sleep'
After the verdicts, 18 members of Laurie Myles' family gathered in a prayer circle outside the downtown courtroom.
``Our family's prayers were answered,'' said Dawn Piatt of Lake View Terrace, a niece of Laurie Myles who named her daughter after the victim. ``We've waited six years for the guilty verdict. I can finally sleep at night, and my aunt can finally rest peacefully in her grave.''
Their mood was far from forgiving as they repeatedly demanded the death penalty for Moore and said they are eager to testify at his penalty trial.
``She would have helped these individuals if they had asked her,'' said Myles' youngest brother, Larry Hicks, who cried in relief as the clerk read the guilty verdicts.
``I feel a cancer has been cut from the fabric of society, and they have one more curtain call,'' said Myles' oldest brother, David Hicks For the American chaplain, see .
David Matthew Hicks (born 7 August 1975) is an Australian who, after five years detention by the United States government under suspicion of involvement with terrorism, became the first Guantánamo Bay detainee to be convicted under the US of Frasier Park.
No remorse shown
Myles' daughter Dana Martin, now 22, was waiting for her mother to pick her up from class when the shooting occurred. She said the murderers have shown no remorse and even taunted the family with smug smiles and other gestures in the courtroom.
``I can't understand how you can have absolutely no remorse when (a jury) says you're guilty and you know what you did,'' she said.
Her sister, Michelle Martin
Michelle Martin (born April 29 1967) is a former professional squash player from Australia who was one of the game's leading players in the 1990s. , 26, said she misses her mother terribly.
``I still get flashes of `I've got to tell my mom,' '' she said. ``We talked all the time, so not to have that person - to say everything to - is hard. I still want to call her today and tell her what happened.''
In the murder of Tarkhanian, Moore was convicted of robbing her of credit cards and other items. The jury deadlocked on whether Johnson played any role.
The jury deliberated eight days after a three-month trial.
Judge J.D. Smith issued a gag order A court order to gag or bind an unruly defendant or remove her or him from the courtroom in order to prevent further interruptions in a trial. In a trial with a great deal of notoriety, a court order directed to attorneys and witnesses not to discuss the case with the media—such barring the prosecutors, attorneys and jurors from commenting on the case.