(April 3, 2007) -- A Superior Court jury in Norwalk today (April 3) recommended a death sentence for a Hawaiian Gardens gang member, convicted by the same jury on March 20 of murdering Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Ortiz outside an apartment during an investigation into a 2005 shooting.
In a written release, D.A. Steve Cooley said, "This is the kind of person and the kind of crime that the death penalty was made for."
Jurors deliberated one day before recommending death for Jose Luis Orozcom, 29. Trial Judge Philip Hickok will decide the final sentence...and is scheduled to pronounce sentence on May 3.
Orozco was convicted of the first-degree murder Sheriff's Deputy Ortiz, 35, a widely respected gang enforcement deputy at the Lakewood station, who was investigating a June 20, 2005, Hawaiian Gardens shooting in which Orozco was a suspect, when he was murdered by Orozco on June 24.
Deputy Ortiz spotted Orozco and chased him to an apartment complex in the 12000 block of East 223rd Street; Orozco ran into an apartment and hid behind a door...and when Deputy Ortiz deputy came to the door, Orozco shot him, then fled.
Orozco was arrested five buildings away on 223rd Street shortly before midnight. A .38-caliber revolver was recovered.
The shooting that Deputy Ortiz was investigating was of a man who was shot in the back while doing yard work at a Hawaiian Gardens home. The victim survived and the jury convicted him of the attempted murder.
Deputy District Attorneys Lowell Anger and Phillip Stirling of the Crimes Against Peace Officers Section (CAPOS) prosecuted the case.
Deputy Ortiz was a Lakewood Award of Valor winner in 2004 for having faced down an armed carjacker who drew a gun on him and his partner, ending with the death of the carjacker and the arrest of two suspected gang members.
(Photo source: LASD)
The murder of Deputy Ortiz prompted an outpouring of emotion from the community, where he was respected and admired coworkers and members of the community. This was the scene outside the Lakewood Sheriff's station 24 hours after his death.
Dep. Ortiz is the fifth Lakewood Sheriff Deputy slain while on duty...and his name is now inscribed on the Memorial Wall outside the LASD station on Clark Ave.