Local News

Nov 26, 2009 6:42 AM by Ariel Wesler

Jury reaches guilty verdict in the death of former Lompoc police officer

A 26 year-old man is facing the death penalty after jurors convicted him in the fatal shooting of an East Palo Alto police officer.

Officer Richard May was killed in January of 2006. He was a former lompoc police officer before moving to Palo Alto. The defendant was found guilty of first degree murder with a special circumstance.

Four years later, these images continue to haunt Richard May's father.

"It's tough during forensic days or on days when they show pictures of the scene itself, I've had to leave," said Richard May,Senior

After a three month trial and eight hours of deliberation, the jury reached its guilty verdict.
I think the reason is very clear. They found the evidence to be overwhelming," said District Attorney James P. Fox.

38 year-old Richard May grew up in san luis obispo, where his father still lives. He served as former Lompoc police officer, but his father says he contributed far more than just police work.

He spent his whole public life as a police officer helping youth organizations, raising a couple hundred thousand dollars for the boys and girls club in Lompoc," May's father said.

Tragically, the same young people whose lives may worked to change would be responsible for his death. 26-year old Alberto Alverez had a previous criminal record.

"Our law enforcement officers are putting their lives on the line, responding to our calls on 911 for help, that if somebody wants to use violence toward them, our community will not take it," Fox said.

Neither will May's father.

"He needs to have the death penalty. This wasn't an accident and after he shot my son, he walked right up and stood over him to make sure he was dead and shot him two more times on the ground. There is no other choice."

On December 7th, jurors are expected to hear from the defendant's and officer May's families before deciding between the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

May's father says he does not anticipate a decision before Christmas.

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