Guilty verdict in cop killing

Jurors in San Mateo County have convicted 26-year-old Alberto Alvarez of murder for fatally shooting East Palo Alto police Officer Richard May in January 2006.

The jury began deliberating on Tuesday and today found Alvarez guilty of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of killing a
peace officer.

The shooting occurred after May responded to a fight involving Alvarez at the Villa Taqueria in East Palo Alto at about 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2006.

Alvarez and May exchanged gunfire during a confrontation that followed a foot pursuit. Alvarez suffered one bullet wound to the leg, and
May died at the scene.

Prosecutor Steve Wagstaffe called the death an “execution,” and alleged that Alvarez shot May twice, then fired two more rounds to “finish him off” after he was on the ground.

Defense attorney Charles Robinson argued that May fired first and that Alvarez was acting in self-defense when he shot May.

May, 38, left behind a wife and three daughters. He had been with the East Palo Alto Police Department for about 18 months, although his law enforcement career spanned over 12 years.

Alvarez has been in custody without bail since his arrest. He could now face the death penalty.

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