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  1. #1
    Willowdared's Avatar
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    Gang member sentenced to life in cop killing

    Gang member sentenced to life in cop killing

    By Angelica Martinez, Union-Tribune Staff Writer, Susan Shroder, Union-Tribune Staff Writer
    12:30 p.m. June 4, 2009

    Meki Gaono, 20, was convicted in April in the death of 25-year-old Officer Dan Bessant. - Charlie Neuman / Union-Tribune
    Related news

    April 21: Gaono, 20, guilty in cop's killing


    VISTA — A gang member convicted of fatally shooting Oceanside police Officer Dan Bessant was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Thursday morning.
    Meki Gaono, 20, convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Bessant on Dec. 20, 2006, wiped tears away as his sister spoke to him before he was sentenced to life in prison.
    Superior Court Judge Runston Maino said he chose the maximum punishment for Gaono, even though the judge said the defendant demonstrated some remorse, unlike Penifoti Taeotui, another defendant in the case.
    “What struck me was that you had the opportunity to contemplate whether to kill or not to kill, and you chose to kill,” Maino said.
    On April 20, a jury convicted Gaono in what prosecutors said was a gang-related attack. In addition to murder, jurors found Gaono guilty of assault with a deadly weapon for firing at Officer Karina Pina, who was with Bessant on a traffic stop but was not injured.
    The jury acquitted Gaono of a second charge of assault with a deadly weapon for firing at a civilian who was riding along with Pina.
    Steve Bessant, the father of the victim, addressed the court and spoke directly to Gaono, who turned to look at him as he was talking.
    “I don't have to look at you to know why you murdered Danny,” Bessant said. “I know why you murdered Danny. You did it out of the hardness of your heart.”
    Before leaving the lectern, Bessant said he forgave Gaono and pleaded for him to make better decisions in his life from now on.
    “Meki, I forgive you for killing my son,” Bessant said. “You have a choice. . . . I pray that you make the right choice.”
    In the gallery, Gaono's family cried quietly during the sentencing. His older sister, Kora Sale, spoke of a different Gaono from that one portrayed during the six-week trial.
    She said Gaono's grandfather raised him to “love, care and respect” others. Sale said her comments were not an excuse or justification for her brother. She said that despite family oversight, young people in her neighborhood can find themselves in a cycle of violence that can lead to gangs and crime.
    She turned toward the Bessant family in the gallery and said: “I really am truly sorry for your loss.”
    Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy, who attended the sentencing along with a other members of his police department, asked the judge for the maximum punishment.
    Outside the courthouse, McCoy said the sentencing sends a message “that if something happens to us (in the police department), the justice system will prevail and those who committed the crime will be punished to the full extent of the law.”
    In January, co-defendant Taeotui was also sentenced to life in prison without parole for his role in shooting at – but not hitting – the officers. He was convicted of one count of murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
    Prosecutors said that Gaono, Taeotui and a third person were involved in the shooting.
    In March 2008, a judge dismissed charges against Jose Compre, who prosecutors said was the third shooter, after determining that there wasn't enough evidence for him to stand trial.
    Bessant was assisting fellow officer Pina at a traffic stop near Arthur Avenue and Gold Drive in Oceanside's Mesa Margarita neighborhood about 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 20.
    Prosecutors alleged that the three had been drinking outside a house and began firing upon the officers from nearly 400 feet away. They said gang members were upset about the city's crackdown on gang activity and code violations at their homes.
    Gaono, then nearly 17, fired the fatal round from a .22-caliber rifle with a scope, hitting Bessant under his left arm just above his protective vest, prosecutors said.
    The rifle was later found in a shed behind Gaono's house.
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  2. #2
    ex401mp's Avatar
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    Fuck his tears, I hope he gets ass raped repeatedly while he is prison.
    Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American G.I.
    One died for your soul, the other for your freedom. ~ Anon

    si hic carrus commovet non quaerete

    RIP Scott L. Roth- Pfc 1st Platoon,401st MP Co, KIA 12/20/89- Operation Just Cause- Not forgotten.
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  3. #3
    Wolven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ex401mp View Post
    Fuck his tears, I hope he gets ass raped repeatedly while he is prison.
    +1 my brother
    Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way" ~Martin Luther King, Jr

  4. #4
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    The murderers have made the choice to kill and now they must live with the consequences for making that choice. Justice has been served. It takes a really strong person to be able to forgive the murderer(s) who killed their loved one. I hope that I never have to be put in that position. Rest in Peace, Ofc Bessant.


    Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.

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  5. #5
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    tapout is offline keepin it gangsta'
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willowdared View Post
    Prosecutors alleged that the three had been drinking outside a house and began firing upon the officers from nearly 400 feet away. They said gang members were upset about the city's crackdown on gang activity and code violations at their homes.
    .
    if i worked there, and they were upset about the gang crackdown and code violations before, they would have to move across the country by the time i was done with them after this incident. a gang member would not be able to step off his front porch without having me in his grill, jacking him up, and hooking him for even the most petty things i could find. id arrest their mothers, grandmothers, siblings, children 7 years old and above etc, for anything that i legally could. got your pit bull off a leash? heres a citation. throw a cigarette on the ground? littering. step off your property with an open can of beer? youre going to jail. piss on the side of a building? under arrest. im guessing enough of this would lead to a lot of resisting arrest, which would lead to a lot of assaults on me, which would lead to much heavier charges and hopefully some significant jail time. fuck these assholes. RIP brother.
    in the warriors code there's no surrender, though his body says stop, his spirit cries...NEVER. deep in our souls, a quiet ember, knows its you against you, its the paradox that drives us all. its a battle of wills, in the heat of attack, its the passion that kills, and victory is yours alone.


    the posts and opinions stated by me do not in any way reflect the values, beliefs, or views of my department. they are simply opinions and/or observations which have been developed through my personal experiences. hell, most of the stories probably arent even true...wink wink

  6. #6
    ex401mp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tapout View Post
    if i worked there, and they were upset about the gang crackdown and code violations before, they would have to move across the country by the time i was done with them after this incident. a gang member would not be able to step off his front porch without having me in his grill, jacking him up, and hooking him for even the most petty things i could find. id arrest their mothers, grandmothers, siblings, children 7 years old and above etc, for anything that i legally could. got your pit bull off a leash? heres a citation. throw a cigarette on the ground? littering. step off your property with an open can of beer? youre going to jail. piss on the side of a building? under arrest. im guessing enough of this would lead to a lot of resisting arrest, which would lead to a lot of assaults on me, which would lead to much heavier charges and hopefully some significant jail time. fuck these assholes. RIP brother.
    Shit yeah, that's what I am talking about. Reps sent!!!!!!!!!!
    Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American G.I.
    One died for your soul, the other for your freedom. ~ Anon

    si hic carrus commovet non quaerete

    RIP Scott L. Roth- Pfc 1st Platoon,401st MP Co, KIA 12/20/89- Operation Just Cause- Not forgotten.
    ALWAYS FIRST!!!

  7. #7
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tapout View Post
    if i worked there, and they were upset about the gang crackdown and code violations before, they would have to move across the country by the time i was done with them after this incident. a gang member would not be able to step off his front porch without having me in his grill, jacking him up, and hooking him for even the most petty things i could find. id arrest their mothers, grandmothers, siblings, children 7 years old and above etc, for anything that i legally could. got your pit bull off a leash? heres a citation. throw a cigarette on the ground? littering. step off your property with an open can of beer? youre going to jail. piss on the side of a building? under arrest. I'm guessing enough of this would lead to a lot of resisting arrest, which would lead to a lot of assaults on me, which would lead to much heavier charges and hopefully some significant jail time. fuck these assholes. RIP brother.
    Go get 'em, press charges, and lock 'em up for anything and everything under the sun. Maybe they will move back to their originating country because they have found that life in America is too difficult. We can only hope. Or they can stay in jail for the rest of their life. Either way works for me. Deportation for the illegals, works too. They come back, deport them again. As long as they are taken out of society.


    Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.

    Not a LEO

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    In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.









  8. #8
    mack's Avatar
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    Are we supposed to feel bad for this POS? I wish he got the death penalty like he should have to begin with. Now we have to support the garbage for the rest of his life.

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  9. #9
    Captain America's Avatar
    Captain America is offline Reed and Malloy were my FTOs
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    Quote Originally Posted by ex401mp View Post
    Fuck his tears, I hope he gets ass raped repeatedly while he is prison.

    Without vaseline......

    Rest in peace , Ofc. Bessant.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "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."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    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

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  10. #10
    Captain America's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tapout View Post
    if i worked there, and they were upset about the gang crackdown and code violations before, they would have to move across the country by the time i was done with them after this incident. a gang member would not be able to step off his front porch without having me in his grill, jacking him up, and hooking him for even the most petty things i could find. id arrest their mothers, grandmothers, siblings, children 7 years old and above etc, for anything that i legally could. got your pit bull off a leash? heres a citation. throw a cigarette on the ground? littering. step off your property with an open can of beer? youre going to jail. piss on the side of a building? under arrest. im guessing enough of this would lead to a lot of resisting arrest, which would lead to a lot of assaults on me, which would lead to much heavier charges and hopefully some significant jail time. fuck these assholes. RIP brother.

    The Wrath of GOD's warriors.....
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "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."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    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

    Renniger-Richards-Griswold-Owens

  11. #11
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain America View Post
    The Wrath of GOD's warriors.....
    Romans 13:4 Quoted for TRUTH:

    "For the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
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    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  12. #12
    Willowdared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack View Post
    Are we supposed to feel bad for this POS? I wish he got the death penalty like he should have to begin with. Now we have to support the garbage for the rest of his life.
    He did not get the death penalty because of his age at the time.

    I'm not sure why you would think this was about feeling sorry for the killer? This was a follow-up post to earlier one's I've made reference this case.

    OPD is a smaller agency, and they had two officers murdered and a K9 die trying to stop a jumper off the Coronado Bridge in the past couple of years. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
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