Monday, March 19 , 2018, 5:45 am | Fair 41º


Local News

Defense Attorneys Seeking New Trial for Jesse James Hollywood

A Santa Barbara judge on Tuesday delays a sentencing hearing

After being convicted to life in prison for kidnapping and first-degree murder in July, attorneys for Jesse James Hollywood are asking for a new trial. Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Brian Hill on Tuesday delayed Hollywood’s sentencing hearing.

Hollywood’s defense have said they would appeal the jury’s earlier decision to give him a life sentence without parole, citing that the jury acted inappropriately.

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

Prosecutors said they’re hopeful Judge Hill will deny the motion for a new trial and that sentencing will go forward.

Prosecutors said 29-year-old Hollywood was the mastermind of the kidnapping nine years ago of 15-year-old Nicholas Markowitz. He was taken 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.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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