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

The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case against a man convicted of fatally stabbing his counselor at a Job Corps facility in Hollywood four years ago.

Freddy Leyva was found guilty of first-degree murder for the March 14, 2012, killing of Dwayne Alexander in an office in the 1200 block of North Lodi Place.

The state high court declined to take up an April 22 ruling by a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal that rejected the defense’s contention that a Los Angeles judge had erred in a second trial on the murder charges after the jury in an initial trial had deadlocked. According to the defense, the trial judge erred by initially allowing jurors in Leyva’s retrial to hear his testimony from his first trial and then excluding the evidence about his prior testimony.

In his retrial, Leyva denied remembering his testimony from the first trial or what had happened to Alexander, the appeals court panel noted.

The appellate justices also rejected the defense’s contention that the trial court erred in failing to conduct a mental competency hearing before Leyva testified in his retrial.

Leyva, who was a student in the Job Corps program, testified that Alexander had grabbed his genitals on one occasion, laid on the bed in his dormitory room on another occasion and kissed him the day before the killing.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Britton countered that there was nothing outside of Leyva’s testimony to support his account, saying that the defendant was trying to drag the victim’s name “through the mud.”

Alexander suffered 29 stab and cut wounds — five of them fatal. Three other students came to the counselor’s aid and subdued Leyva, who was sentenced in January 2015 to 26 years to life in state prison.

City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *