Jury Recommends Death Sentence for Murder Suspect

October 18, 2000

Thursday, October 19, 2000

"Jury Recommends Death Sentence for Murder Suspect"

Los Angeles – On Wednesday, October 18, 2000, the Jury returned it’s verdict on the re-sentencing phase of murder suspect Kenneth Gay, previously convicted of murdering Los Angeles Police Officer Paul Verna. Officer Verna was murdered on June 2, 1983, during a traffic stop on Holty Street, in Lake View Terrace.

Both suspects in that incident, Ray Cummings and Kenneth Gay, were arrested and convicted for the murder in 1985, receiving the Death Penalty. Gay’s sentence, however, was overturned by the California Supreme Court claiming he had inadequate legal representation. Today’s verdict re-instated Gay’s death sentence.

Los Angeles Police Chief, Bernard C. Parks, stated, "I am pleased with the verdict of the Jury. I sincerely hope that the Jury’s decision will bring some closure to this episode for the Verna family and members of the Los Angeles Community."

Among others, Officer Paul Verna is survived by his sons Bryce and Ryan Verna. Bryce is a Los Angeles Police Officer, and his brother Ryan is currently a Police Recruit in the Los Angeles Police Academy.

This press Release was prepared by Officer Eduardo Funes, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.

For Release 5:00 pm PDT
October 18, 2000