Trial is expected to begin Tuesday for a deputy U.S. marshal accused of shooting and killing a man in a Los Angeles alley while he was off duty.
Matthew Itkowitz is charged with violating the civil rights of 26-year- old Ryan Gonzalez, who was fatally shot on March 5, 2008, near Melrose Avenue.
The marshal — who was formerly assigned to the downtown courthouse where he is being tried — allegedly shot Gonzalez three times in the back after the victim intervened in a late-night argument between the off-duty lawman and his wife behind a tattoo parlor.
Itkowitz, 45, is expected to argue that he acted in self-defense after Gonzalez punched and threatened him with a gun.
Federal prosecutors took over the case after the L.A. County district attorney’s office declined to prosecute Itkowitz in 2010, despite finding that his account of the shooting was “inconsistent” with footage captured by a security camera in the alley.
Itkowitz was charged with deprivation of rights under color of law, using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and obstruction of justice. The obstruction charges stem from his alleged report to a supervisor on the night of the incident that he was attacked “by two Hispanics.”
—City News Service
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