Crime - Sacto 911

Verdict coming in cop killer Bracamontes death penalty case

Jurors have reached a verdict in the death penalty phase of cop killer Luis Bracamontes' trial and Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White is expected to read it sometime this afternoon, though no specific time has been given yet. .

The case went to the jury Monday afternoon, with Bracamontes facing the possibility of a death sentence or life without parole.

The jury's decision will end a nearly four-year saga that began with Bracamontes' Oct. 24, 2014, crime spree that killed two Sacramento-area deputies and severely wounded motorist Anthony Holmes and a Placer County sheriff's deputy.

The rampage began in the parking lot of an Arden Way Motel 6 (which has since been razed), where Sacramento sheriff's Deputy Danny Oliver was killed by a shot to his forehead as he approached Bracamontes' car. Bracamontes and his wife, Janelle Monroy, then fled the scene, running over Oliver's body and escaping a hail of gunfire from Oliver's partner, Deputy Scott Brown.

The couple carjacked their way across the city – severely wounding motorist Anthony Holmes during a failed carjack attempt – and ended up in an Auburn cul de sac, where a gunbattle killed Placer sheriff's Detective Michael Davis Jr.

Bracamontes, who was on a meth-fueled binge, had been living in Salt Lake City working as a landscaper and painter at the time of his crime spree. A Mexican citizen who was in the country illegally and had been deported several times, Bracamontes and his wife ended up in Sacramento by chance.

His defense lawyers have argued for years that Bracamontes is profoundly mentally ill and suffers from bipolar disorder with psychotic features.

Prosecutors called him "pure evil" and asked jurors to impose a death sentence.

The jury had two counts to decide in the penalty phase, one each for Oliver and Davis on whether he should get death or life without parole.

Monroy was convicted in Davis' death and sentenced last week to nearly 50 years in prison. She was not accused of firing any shots, but helped carry Bracamontes' AR-15 from car to car. That rifle was used to killed Davis.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee