Jury adjourns without decision in officer’s killing

The families of slain police officer Isaac Espinoza and murder suspect David Hill will not learn Hill’s fate until next year after the jury in his murder trial adjourned for the holidays Thursday.

The seven-woman, five-man jury heard closing arguments Dec. 13 after nearly two months of testimony and deliberations began Dec. 14. They will reconvene Jan. 2.

Hill, 23, has not denied that he gunned down plainclothes officer Espinoza on April 10, 2004, but his lawyer, Martin Sabelli, has argued that Hill fired out of self-defense, thinking that Espinoza and his partner, Barry Parker, were rival gangsters.

Espinoza, 29, the father of a 3-year-old girl at the time, died in a hospital after two bullets from an AK-47 hit him. Hill allegedly sprayed bullets at him and Parker, who was hit in the ankle as he took cover behind his unmarked car. Hill faces a murder charge in Espinoza’s death and an attempted murder charge for allegedly shooting Parker.

Espinoza’s family members and off-duty officers have attended the trial, packing the courtroom during the closing arguments. Judge Carol Yaggy ruled early in the proceedings that not more than five uniformed officers could attend at any one time because their presence might influence the jury.

Sabelli said Thursday that he was not surprised that the jury had not made a decision because “collective decision-making is unpredictable.”

“It appears they’re doing an extremely diligent job and that’s what we’re looking for,” Sabelli said.

amartin@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Sen. Kamala Harris chosen as Joe Biden’s running mate

Joe Biden has chosen Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running… Continue reading

Supervisors fear Tenderloin lawsuit settlement sets bad precedent

UC Hastings case pushed city to move more homeless residents into hotels or shelters

UCSF police seek suspect in killing at Inner Sunset campus

UC San Francisco police are investigating the death of a person who… Continue reading

Mayor Breed unveils $446.1 milion COVID-19 budget proposal

Mayor London Breed unveiled the budget proposal Tuesday for The City’s COVID-19… Continue reading

‘Street Crisis Response Team’ to respond to behavioral health calls

San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Tuesday announced the creation of a… Continue reading

Most Read