Gang member gets death sentence in athlete's murder

Gang member gets death sentence in athlete's murder
Pedro Espinoza sits during the proceedings of his sentencing hearing on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, at a Los Angeles Courthouse. ( AP Photo/Nick Ut)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A gang member has been sentenced to death for the murder of a star Los Angeles High School athlete.

A judge imposed the sentence on Pedro Espinoza on Friday after rejecting a motion for a new trial and upholding the jury's recommendation of death.

Prosecutors say Jamiel Shaw II was targeted because he was carrying a red Spider-Man backpack, a color perceived by Espinoza as linking Shaw to an opposing gang

The judge said Friday that evidence that Espinoza killed Shaw was overwhelming and rejected defense arguments that Espinoza didn't get a fair trial.

Shaw was a 17-year-old standout running back at Los Angeles High when he was gunned down in 2008. He was not a gang member.