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11-11-08, 12:16 AM #1
Gang Member Found Guilty in Officer's Murder
Vista gang member found guilty of murder in cop's slaying
UNION-TRIBUNE BREAKING NEWS TEAM
November 10, 2008
VISTA A North County gang member accused of killing an Oceanside police officer was found guilty Monday of first-degree murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Penifoti PJ Taeotui, 18, had been accused of firing a revolver at Officer Dan Bessant during a traffic stop in northeast Oceanside in late 2006.
Jurors came to their decision Monday afternoon after hearing roughly six weeks of testimony in the case. Sentencing was scheduled for Jan. 12. He could be sentenced to life in prison.
Taeotui and Meki Gaono, 19, were charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon for firing at officers Bessant and Karina Pina.
A civilian was also riding with Pina during a traffic stop about 6:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 2006, when Bessant was fatally shot. Pina and the civilian were not wounded. Prosecutors contended that while Taeotui's shots missed, Gaono, another gang member, fired the fatal round using a rifle with a telescopic sight from 386 feet away.
Gaono's trial is set for Jan. 12, the same day that Taeotui is to be sentenced.
The teenagers, authorities said, fired at the officers to earn respect within their gang and because they were upset at police for cracking down on gang activity in the neighborhood.
During the trial, Taeotui's attorney questioned police credibility, saying officers intimidated the teens to obtain their statements.Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
11-11-08, 12:32 AM #2
Rest in peace , Ofc. Bessant. I hate lawyers. Being under rifle fire is intimidating. Somehow officers always end up being the bad guys. Not the ambushing gangbangers.SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM-Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"
"It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
-General Omar Bradley, United States Army
11-15-08, 11:31 PM #3
It took six weeks of tax money to convict the slimeball?Please do not mistake my kindness for weakness.
11-16-08, 12:36 AM #4
Glad to see that a couple more gang banging thugs are going to prison, if not 6 feet under.
BTW I despise gang bangers. They are selfish and sub-human and deserve absolutely no place in a free society.
Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.
Not a LEO
In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.
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