Verdict reached in penalty phase in murder of SoCal teen that inspired ‘Alpha Dog’ movie

Verdict reached in Jesse James Hollywood case

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — A verdict has been reached in the penalty phase of the trial for Jesse James Hollywood, who faces a possible death sentence for the kidnap-killing of a 15-year-old boy.

Santa Barbara Superior Court liaison Debbie Fox says the verdict was expected to be read later in the day. Jurors spent two days deciding whether to recommend death or life in prison for Hollywood.

The 29-year-old former marijuana dealer was convicted last week of the first-degree murder and kidnapping of Nicholas Markowitz over what prosecutors say was a drug debt owed by his half-brother.

Four others have been convicted in connection with the case, including the gunman, Ryan Hoyt, who was sentenced to death.

The crime was the inspiration for the 2007 movie “Alpha Dog.”


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