The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case of a Gardena man who was convicted of fatally bludgeoning a 73-year-old La Crescenta resident inside the victim’s home.
David Xavier Bushman was convicted in May 2018 of first-degree murder for Arthur George Palmer’s July 2015 killing.
Jurors found true an allegation that Bushman, now 48, used a mallet in the commission of the attack.
The victim’s stepfather was Bushman’s great uncle, according to Deputy District Attorney Ryan Erlich.
Palmer was found dead on the first floor of his home in the 3000 block of Frances Avenue on July 24, 2015, and Bushman’s DNA was found on the mallet next to the victim’s body, the prosecutor said.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies went to Palmer’s house to check on his welfare after a neighbor reported that he could not reach Palmer by phone and had seen his porch light on for a few days, according to a Jan. 21 ruling by a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal that upheld Bushman’s conviction.
Authorities could not determine if anything had been taken from the home, where Palmer lived alone, according to the prosecutor. But evidence presented at trial indicated that Bushman expected to inherit money from the victim, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Bushman — who had previously been convicted of robbery — was sentenced in June 2018 to 56 years to life in state prison. But the appellate court panel ordered the case to be sent back to a judge in Pasadena for re-sentencing as a result of a new state law that gives the judge the discretion to strike a five-year prison term that had been imposed as a result of the defendant’s prior conviction.
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