California Supreme Court building. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
California Supreme Court building. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to hear the case of two men convicted of the execution-style shooting death of a medical marijuana clinic employee and the wounding of a security guard after a June 2010 robbery in Echo Park.

The state’s highest court denied petitions by Raymond Lemone Easter and Daniel Hinton seeking review of their convictions for the June 24, 2010 killing of Matthew Butcher and the shooting of Urban Jones Jr.

The two were found guilty in November 2013 of first-degree murder for the 27-year-old man’s killing, along with the attempted murder of Jones, who survived being shot in the head after the robbery at the Higher Path Holistic Care Collective in the 1300 block of West Sunset Boulevard, near Dodger Stadium.

Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegation that the murder occurred during the commission of a robbery, along with an allegation that Easter personally discharged a gun during the crime.

Easter returned and shot both victims in the head as they lay face down on the floor following the robbery in which the dispensary’s security cameras, two computer towers containing patient records and thousands of dollars in cash and marijuana were taken, according to authorities.

Easter and Hinton — who were both patients at the clinic — were arrested later that year, authorities said.

Just before they were each sentenced in January 2014 to life in prison without the possibility of parole, Easter and Hinton contended that they were innocent and had been wrongly convicted.

In a ruling in August, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected Hinton’s contention that his conviction for attempted murder should be reversed based on his claim that there was no evidence he aided and abetted Easter in committing that crime.

“Easter repeatedly threatened to kill Jones, and Hinton did nothing to stop or dissuade him,” the appellate court panel found in a 22-page ruling. “The evidence shows that Jones, and presumably Butcher, knew Hinton and Easter as Higher Path patients … Since Hinton and Easter made a point of taking everything which might identify them as the robbers, it is reasonably inferable that they did not intend to leave witnesses who could identify them.”

The appellate court panel also rejected Easter’s challenge to the admission of a statement made by Hinton which implicated Easter in a phone call with a friend or acquaintance. The panel noted that Hinton was “attempting to conceal or destroy evidence that the police said implicated him, rather than making statements intended to implicate Easter while minimizing his own involvement in the crimes.”

— Wire reports 

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