Calif. cop killer says death penalty is no problem
By Henry K. Lee
"I'm not asking for sympathy," Alexander Hamilton, 20, said in a Martinez courtroom before formally being sentenced to die for killing Officer Larry Lasater after robbing a bank in 2005. "I got the death penalty. I ain't got no problem with that."
But he told Judge Laurel Brady of Contra Costa County Superior Court that he didn't see any point for testimony by the slain officer's family. "Let me get on my way, plain and simple," he said.
Lasater's widow, Jo Ann Lasater, blasted Hamilton for showing no remorse, adding that she would never be able to forgive him for killing her husband and the father of her young son, Cody, who was born two months after the officer was killed.
"My son has to grow up in a world where there are people out there like you," she said in addressing the court. "Cody now has to grow up without his father to guide him. You are simply an evil man not worthy to be in society."
Larry Lasater's mother, Phyllis Loya, said she thinks constantly about the sacrifices made by her son and Pittsburg police Inspector Ray Giacomelli, who was gunned down in 2003 while investigating a homicide.
When her son and Giacomelli pinned on their badges to go to work, "that's an act of courage," Loya said. "It's an act of courage because of people like Alexander Hamilton, who feels a sense of entitlement that leads him to go into a bank, wave a gun and threaten a teller and take money instead of earning it."
Loya said Hamilton "assassinated, executed and ambushed my son."
Hamilton did not look at Loya or Lasater as they spoke in a hearing attended by several Pittsburg police officers, including Chief Aaron Baker.
A jury convicted Hamilton of first-degree murder and robbery Aug. 13. Hamilton's attorneys, Robin Lipetzky and Kim Kupferer, argued unsuccessfully Friday for him to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In sentencing Hamilton to die by lethal injection, Brady said Hamilton committed a "cold, calculated act." Rejecting claims by the defense that Hamilton's age should spare him the death penalty, the judge said his actions "belied his chronological age."
Lasater had been with the Pittsburg Police Department three years when he was shot to death April 23, 2005, as he chased Hamilton and Andrew Moffett. The men had just robbed a Wells Fargo branch in a Raley's supermarket in Pittsburg.
The two crashed a stolen getaway car and hid along the Delta de Anza Regional Trail. Lasater came across Moffett in a field but didn't see Hamilton lying in the brush and armed with a 9mm Glock semiautomatic pistol.
Hamilton fired four shots, with the first hitting the officer in the neck.
Moffett, 20, was convicted of murder and other crimes but is not eligible for the death penalty because he was 17 at the time. He faces life in prison.
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