The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that a search warrant authorizing a wiretap of John Fitzgerald Kennedy‘s cell phone that led to incriminating conversations was not supported by probable cause, along with a challenge against three of the four attempted murder charges on which he was convicted.
Kennedy — who lived in Long Beach — was convicted in February 2015 of one count each of second-degree murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle, along with four counts of attempted murder. Jurors also found true a gang allegation.
The first shooting occurred April 1, 2012, after Kennedy’s brother was shot and killed inside the Fantasy Gold Club in Harbor City, according to Deputy District Attorney Rachel Hardiman.
Kennedy went outside the strip club and began shooting, injuring a woman who was leaving the area with friends, according to the prosecutor.
“Between eyewitness testimony and surveillance video evidence, there is no dispute that Kennedy pulled out a gun and began firing multiple shots outside the club right after his brother was killed. The video showed Kennedy just outside the club in a parking lot that separated it from a Panda Express restaurant, in a firing stance with his arm raised,” the appellate court justices noted in their 14-page ruling.
On May 13, 2012, Kennedy pulled out a gun and began shooting after a fight broke out at a party in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck area, according to the prosecutor. Ken McRoyal, 22, was killed and another man was wounded.
McRoyal had played football at Carson High School and El Camino College in Torrance before going on to the University of Idaho.
Investigators discovered that the bullet casings found at both shooting scenes were from the same gun.
In between the two shootings, Long Beach police detectives obtained a warrant to allow them to wiretap Kennedy’s cell phone, with investigators subsequently hearing him say he “tore the club up” and “just ran out of shells” and him saying hours after the second shooting that he had used his shells the previous night, according to the appellate court panel’s opinion.
Kennedy made statements about both shootings during wiretapped phone calls involving his gang that were heard by Long Beach police investigators, who installed a tracking device on his car that showed he was at the second crime scene at the time of the shooting, Hardiman said.
–City News Service
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