The California Supreme Court Wednesday denied a defense petition seeking a review of the case against one of two men convicted of killing a Glendale-area woman who was followed home from a Lynwood shopping center, where she and her husband owned a clothing store.
Devon T. White was convicted along with co-defendant James Wesley Trotter of murder, second-degree robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with the Aug. 8, 2017, killing of 67-year-old Hye Soon Oh.
In a July 16 ruling, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld the convictions of both men. But the appellate court justices reversed the special-circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a robbery against Trotter, which had resulted in him being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The appellate court panel noted in its 24-page ruling that Trotter was not in the parking garage when White shot the woman and that he “therefore did not have an immediate opportunity to prevent the murder.”
“… As to Trotter’s disgusting and reprehensible behavior after Oh was murdered — filming himself with money and saying it was `all off the bitch’ — this callous indifference to Oh’s death is not enough to show he knowingly created a grave risk of death before the murder,” the justices found.
The appellate court panel ordered the trial court to re-sentence Trotter, whose case is due back before a Burbank judge on Nov. 18.
The appellate court justices rejected White’s contention that jurors were improperly instructed in his trial. White is serving a life prison term without the possibility of parole.