Penalty phase of trial begins in murder-kidnap case that inspired movie ‘Alpha Dog’

Penalty phase begins in Jesse James Hollywood case

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The penalty phase has started in the trial of Jesse James Hollywood after he was convicted of the murder-kidnap that inspired the movie “Alpha Dog.”

The proceedings began Monday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Hollywood faces death or life in prison in the 2000 killing of Nicholas Markowitz in an escalating dispute with the boy’s half-brother, who owed Hollywood money for drugs.

The 29-year-old Hollywood said he took the boy but denied ordering his death. Four other men also were convicted for the crime.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Jesse James Hollywood faces death or life in prison as the penalty phase begins in his trial for the kidnapping and murder of a 15-year-old boy in a dispute over drug money owed by his half-brother.

The proceedings are scheduled to start Monday in Superior Court in the killing that inspired the movie “Alpha Dog.”

The 29-year-old Hollywood was convicted last week for the 2000 murder of Nicholas Markowitz.

Prosecutors say Hollywood snatched the boy from a San Fernando Valley street in the escalating dispute.

Hollywood says he took the boy but denies ordering his death. Four other men also were convicted.

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