An interrogation video of two teenage killers was recently released in Sacramento. 16-year-old Daniel Russell and 16-year-old Calvin Pearson broke into the home of Marie Oliver, a 90-year-old woman, and beat her to death using her cane. After breaking her nose, cheekbone, eye socket, and two of her ribs, they took off with some of her valuables from her North Sacramento home.
A shocking interrogation video of the two minors (see video link below) just three days after the killing shows them sharing a pizza and some Sprite while discussing how they attacked the woman back in April 2006. In the video, the teens laugh about the killing and say how they should have "been more careful." They question one another about whether the other snitched and show no remorse for their actions. They even go on to guess how much time they would get for the crime and one says: "Man, we're doin' at least a year, knock on wood we don't."
Unfortunately, the teens were way off in their speculations. The boys, who are now 18 and 19, were charged as adults for first-degree murder that carried special circumstance allegations of robbery and burglary and each received life in prison with no chance of parole.
Murder is defined by California Penal Code Section 187 as the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. CalCrim Jury Instruction 521 defines first degree murder as one that is "willful, deliberate, and premeditated." In this case, the Prosecutor was able to show that the two boys intended to kill Ms. Oliver, carefully weighted the considerations and knowing the consequences, decided to kill her before actually doing so. Section 190 of the Penal Code states that, "Every person guilty of murder in the first degree shall be punished by death, imprisonment in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole, or imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 25 years to life." However, a serious charge such as this may be brought down to second degree murder or even manslaughter with the aid of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
You can view the CBS Affilate KOVR's Video here.
Criminal Law Updates by the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo (714) 547-4636