Tuesday, October 16 , 2018, 5:11 pm | Fair 75º


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).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.