Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 4:15 am | Fair 56º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Jesse James Hollywood Gets Life Sentence

After convicting him in the kidnap-murder of 15-year-old Nicholas Markowitz, jurors choose life over death penalty

Jesse James Hollywood, convicted last week in the kidnapping and first-degree murder of a San Fernando Valley teenager, was spared the death penalty Wednesday by a Santa Barbara Superior Court jury that recommended a life sentence without parole. Defense attorneys said they would appeal his conviction.

Prosecutors say Hollywood, 29, was the mastermind of the 2000 kidnapping of 15-year-old Nicholas Markowitz, who was snatched as he walked near his West Hills home, allegedly in retaliation for a $1,200 drug debt his brother owed to Hollywood. The teen was driven to Santa Barbara, where he was held for several days before being taken up to the Lizard’s Mouth trail off West Camino Cielo and shot to death.

Hollywood fled after the slaying and was captured in Brazil in 2005 after an international manhunt and time on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. Four of his associates were convicted in the case: the gunman, Ryan Hoyt, who was sentenced to death; Graham Pressley of Goleta; Jesse Rugge of Santa Barbara; and William Skidmore.

Defense attorney James Blatt vowed to appeal, citing among other reasons, the 2006 movie, Alpha Dog, which was based on the case.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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