Timothy Joseph McGhee

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Timothy Joseph McGhee
Timothy Joseph McGhee CDCR.jpg
Born (1973-04-27) April 27, 1973 (age 50)
Other namesHuero, Eskimo, The Monster of Atwater, Joe McGhee
Conviction(s) Murder, attempted murder, assault, conspiracy to commit an assault, conspiracy to commit vandalism, resisting executive officers in the performance of their duties
Criminal penalty Death + 75 years to life
Victims12 (3 convictions)
CountryUnited States
State(s) California
Date apprehended
February 11, 2003

Timothy Joseph McGhee (born April 27, 1973) is a convicted serial killer and Toonerville Rifa 13 gang member from the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. He is alleged to be responsible for at least 12 homicides between 1997 and 2001, three of which led to convictions. McGhee is also suspected of at least ten attempted murders, four of which led to convictions. [1] In 2018, the Los Angeles Times named McGhee one of the top 20 most notorious killers in the history of California, a list that included the likes of Charles Manson, the Golden State Killer, and the Night Stalker. [2]


After his arrest for assaulting a law enforcement officer, McGhee spent 1994 to 2000 either incarcerated or on parole. During his stints as a parolee, he allegedly shot seven people, killing three, and attempted to murder two LAPD officers. He was arrested in 2003 on homicide charges and sentenced to death in 2009. [3] In a separate trial in 2007, McGhee was sentenced to 75 years to life for leading a 2005 prison riot. [4] Due to a new change in California's death sentence laws, McGhee has been transferred from San Quentin's death row to general population in Salinas Valley State Prison. [5]

Personal life

McGhee was born on April 27, 1973, in Los Angeles, California. [6] His father abandoned him as a young boy, leaving the family and moving to Alaska for work. [7] Locals recall McGhee as a typical kid [8] who often skated in the neighborhood. [9] As an adult, McGhee had three biological children and raised five of his girlfriend's children as well. By many accounts, he was a good father.

The back of McGhee's typically shaven head bears a tattoo of an eagle eating a snake [10] which appears on the flag of Mexico. [11] McGhee also has "Atwater Village" tattooed across his chest, his gang "Toonerville Rifa" on his back, and the initials of his gang "TVR" on his stomach. [6] He also had the initials NELA tattooed behind his left ear, which likely stands for Northeast Los Angeles. [12] McGhee stands 5’ 11" with a muscular build and frequently wears a goatee. He was given the street name Huero, slang for the Spanish word Guero, translated as a light-skinned Mexican. His relatively fair complexion also earned him the nickname Eskimo. [13] As his notorious reputation grew, McGhee would aptly earn the nickname Monster, or "the Monster of Atwater." When the U.S. Department of Justice placed him on their most wanted list, they denoted his primary alias as Joe McGhee. [6]

Atwater Village and the Toonerville Gang

McGhee was raised in the neighborhood of Atwater Village, a lower middle class area of Los Angeles consisting of 1.78 square miles just north of downtown Los Angeles along Interstate 5 adjacent to Glendale, California. [14] Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, born the year after McGhee, grew up in the neighborhood. Judge Lance Ito, who presided over the O.J. Simpson murder trial, and Michelle Phillips, a member of The Mamas & the Papas, both attended John Marshall High School there. Even the entrance to the California Adventure theme park at Disneyland was modeled after the quaint Atwater Village of the 1940s. [10]

But a Mexican street gang known as Toonerville, also referred to as Toonerville Rifa 13, AKA: TVR, established roots in the area as early as 1942. As gang activity flourished in Los Angeles in the late-1970s and 1980s, clashes between Toonerville and various rivals, most frequently Thee Rascals 13, AKA: TRS, brought drastic change to the neighborhood. The once dominant Toonerville gang's territory shrunk by more than 50% as Thee Rascals established themselves in the area of Atwater Village south of Los Feliz Boulevard. The Rascals 13 is a predominantly Hispanic street gang that established themselves in the late-1970s which; a group of Atwater youths originally formed to protect themselves from the older, well-established gangs, primarily Toonerville Rifa (TVR), The Avenues (AVES), and Frogtown Rifa (FTR). Though smaller in number, Thee Rascals are just as equally vicious as their older arch-nemesis. The crime rate increased in the area, the economy wavered, and ethnic diversity grew. A recent study found that 51.3% of the community of 15,455 are Hispanic, predominantly Mexican and Filipino. Nearly half of residents are immigrants from foreign countries and over half of the 5,000 households earn less than $40,000 annually. There is, however, a modern movement to revitalize the area into its once middle class status. [14] [15]

The organization claims the area north of Los Feliz Boulevard between San Fernando Road and the Los Angeles River as its territory and has expanded into at least three other suburbs of Los Angeles. At some point in the 1990s, McGhee became the gang's leader or "shot-caller," demanding absolute loyalty from nearly 200 members, training his legion in calisthenics, target practice, tactics to elude police, and procedures to eliminate rival gang members. Toonerville Rifa 13 members were typically posted, armed with weapons, on three main roads that lead into their turf with cell phones or walkie-talkies for communication. [10] [3] The Toonerville gang's main source of income was the drug trade, in which members and associates would deal drugs, consisting primarily of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, and PCP, were dealt out of numerous "trap-houses" operating within the gang's zone of control. The gang also possessed and sold an arsenal of weapons ranging from handguns to AK-47s.

McGhee's early criminal history

McGhee's earliest recorded act of violence was a 1989 assault with a firearm when, at the age of 16, he pointed a shotgun at a guard while detained at a juvenile custody facility. [4] In 1994, a 21-year-old McGhee was convicted of assaulting a law enforcement officer in San Bernardino County and was sentenced to four years in prison. He was released in 1997 after serving three years. [3]

In 1997, two members of The Rascals, Juan Cardiel and Pedro Sanchez, were allegedly chased through the streets of Atwater Village by McGhee. Cardiel was shot in the back and paralyzed from the waist down. Sanchez took cover at a gas station, standing behind glass he thought was bulletproof. The shooter repeatedly fired through the glass door hitting Sanchez in the back. He would later recover from his injuries. Both identified McGhee as the shooter. [16]

Murder of Ronnie Martin

On October 14, 1997, while on parole, it was alleged that a 24-year-old McGhee committed his first homicide. Ronnie Martin (23) was a member of Frog Town, one of TVR's biggest rivals in Atwater Village. Martin was shot 28 times and pronounced dead at the scene. McGhee was not linked to this homicide until years later. After an unrelated charge violated his parole, McGhee was sent back to prison in late 1997. [10]

McGhee's release from prison

After violating parole in 1997, McGhee was imprisoned for roughly a year and a half. In March 1999, he was again released and lived with his grandmother in the San Gabriel Valley, which has a relatively low crime rate compared to the more notorious neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

But 11 months later, in February 2000, McGhee was again found violating the terms of his parole and returned to prison. He finally earned his release in April 2000 after serving roughly five years on the assault that initially carried a four-year sentence. Police note that crime in Atwater Village seemed to increase sharply each time McGhee was released from prison. [3]

Recording studio murder

On October 17, 1999, while on parole, a bodyguard and two rap artists were shot near the gates of Echo Sounds music studio in Atwater Village after concluding a recording session. The crew had gathered on the studio's patio at 11:40 PM when at least two gunmen confronted them and began shooting without warning. Bodyguard Dwayne "Draws" Dupree (23) was killed, pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. Dupree was guarding rapper Ricardo "Kurupt" Brown, future executive vice president of Death Row Records, who was finishing his album Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha with Antra Records. [17]

Kurupt's producer Delmar "Daz Dillinger" Arnaud, also with Death Row Records and cousin of legendary rapper Calvin "Snoop Dogg" Broadus, was present but uninjured. Death Row artist Jevon "Tha Realest" Jones was wounded in the foot, and Willard "Act Da Fool" Givers was wounded in the calf. [18] It was initially suggested that a hidden track on the album could be a motive for the shooting that insulted rappers DMX (rapper), The Firm (hip hop group), and others. [17] Later, it was McGhee and an affiliate who was linked to the shooting.[ citation needed ]

Murder of Ryan Gonzalez

On June 3, 2000, rival gang member Ryan Gonzalez (16) was killed as he walked home from a party. He was fatally shot in the 3300 block of Silver Lake Boulevard in Toonerville gang territory near Atwater Avenue Elementary School. [19] A 27-year-old McGhee was the alleged assailant. Gonzalez was a member of The Rascals gang, sharing McGhee's nickname Huero. Investigators believe McGhee's motive was simply that the neighborhood wasn’t big enough for two people with the same street name. [1] In June 2000, an arrest warrant was issued for McGhee in connection with the Gonzalez murder, but it was several years until law enforcement caught up with him. [13]

Ambush of LAPD officers

On July 4, 2000, LAPD officers Thomas Baker and Carlos Langarica were on patrol when they received a call around 3:30 AM that three males had stolen a wallet and fled the scene of the robbery in a gray Honda. [20] Upon encountering the vehicle traveling in the opposite direction, the officers made a U-turn and attempted to stop the vehicle. The driver refused to stop and accelerated, both officers noting they were headed into the heart of Toonerville gang territory in Atwater Village. Baker and Langarica knew that other LAPD officers had been ambushed in this area by gang members who would block the street with debris and open fire on police vehicles.

During this pursuit, a 27-year-old McGhee was allegedly using a police radio scanner to track the progress of the chase while coordinating an ambush. During the pursuit, the officers dodged a washing machine blocking the road, made a right turn at the corner of Bemis Street and Brunswick Avenue, and ran over a bicycle pushed into their path by an unknown suspect. As the police vehicle swerved, two gang members opened fire on the officers striking the driver-side door and even tearing a hole through Officer Baker's pants. Shaken but undeterred, the officers continued the pursuit even as the suspects in the gray vehicle began to open fire, ramming the rear of the vehicle to bring it to a stop. The passenger in the front seat fled the scene, pointing a semi-automatic pistol at the police. Baker rammed the vehicle again, at which point the passenger in the back seat displayed an Uzi-style submachine gun. Officers ran for cover behind a tree exchanging gunfire with the remaining two suspects in the vehicle.

Eventually backed up by other LAPD officers, all three robbery suspects were arrested and charged with attempted murder. Mario "Little Boy" Aleman, Ramon "Chubbs" Maldonado, and Joseph "Little Respect" Aghazadeh were sentenced to two consecutive life terms. [21] The two gang members who fired on police during the attempted ambush, one of whom is suspected of being McGhee, were never identified. Aleman, Maldonado, and Aghazadeh refused to give up the shooters’ names in exchange for a lessened prison sentence. [20] Neither officer was injured, but both later indicated that they did not think they would have survived the incident. Both officers were awarded the prestigious LAPD Medal of Valor in 2003 for their bravery. [1] [22]

McGhee was eventually convicted on two counts of attempted murder concerning this incident. [1]

Murders of Marty Gregory Roybal and David Lamont Martin

On September 14, 2000, John Marshall High School student Marty Gregory Roybal (17) was fatally shot while spray painting in Toonerville territory near the Red Car River Park in Atwater Village. Contrary to popular belief, Roybal was not "sketching a painting." A family member and responding officers mentioned that Roybal enjoyed "tagging" or spray painting. This rather important piece of information may have been used to influence McGhee's sentence further. A homeless man David Lamont Martin (33), was also shot and killed at the scene, likely a witness to the shooting. A 27-year-old McGhee was suspected in both shootings. [23]

Murder of Manuel Apodaca

McGhee had been incarcerated for yet another parole violation involving narcotics, this time at the California Institution for Men in Chino, California, but was released in May 2001. [24] Beginning in June, he was suspected of shooting nine individuals in five months leaving six dead and three wounded. The homicidal spree began on June 11, 2001, when McGhee was allegedly traveling through the affluent Los Feliz area that borders Atwater Village and features the popular Griffith Observatory. Manuel Apodaca, Jr. (21) lived 35 miles east in Pomona and was passing through with his pregnant girlfriend, Nina Guerrero. McGhee allegedly opened fire on their vehicle on Los Feliz Boulevard near Interstate 5 known in that area as the Golden State Freeway. Apodaca, allegedly a member of The Rascals (gang), was killed, and Guerrero suffered severe brain damage, but their unborn baby was delivered successfully. [10]

Murder of Carlos Velasco

In July 2001, Carlos Velasco (21) was working at a furniture warehouse on North San Fernando Road in Atwater Village. Police state that McGhee, who had driven by and seen the stranger, ordered gang affiliates to kill the man because he did not recognize him. The homicidal order was carried out successfully. [10]

Wisotsky massacre

Atwater Village resident Cheri Wisotsky (46) reported to police that McGhee allegedly was dealing drugs out of his sister's house nearby. On August 8, 2001, [12] Wisotsky was murdered; as well as witnesses to the crime Mary Ann Wisotsky (64), Cheri's mother, and Bryham Robinson (38), friend and neighbor. McGhee is the alleged triggerman in the triple homicide. [1]

Murder of Marjorie Mendoza

On November 8, 2001, McGhee was allegedly prowling the streets with fellow gang member Eduardo "Limpy" Rodriguez seeking revenge over the death of a comrade hours earlier. Armed with handguns and rifles, they came upon rival gang member Duane Natividad in the 3100 block of Hollydale Drive, six blocks south of the Gonzalez murder in 2000. Natividad was driving his Mitsubishi Montero with his girlfriend Marjorie Mendoza (25) and her friend Erica Rhee (16). Mendoza and Natividad had three children, Mark (5), Justin (3), and Nathan (1), who were not with them at the time. At 12:01 AM, November 9, as Natividad pulled up to a residence, McGhee and Rodriguez allegedly pulled in front of them, exited their vehicle, and opened fire on the Montero without warning or any verbal altercation. [24] Natividad ducked and was struck in the right hand while Rhee ducked in the back seat, avoiding injury. As her boyfriend threw the car in reverse and accelerated away, Mendoza was hit multiple times and was driven to Glendale Memorial Hospital, where she later died. [1] [21] [24]

Toonerville gang member Eduardo "Limpy" Rodriguez (22) was arrested the following day. Homicide detectives announced on November 27, 2001, that another suspect, Timothy McGhee, was still at large, and a warrant had been issued for his arrest. Detective Timothy Neel noted that since McGhee's release from prison six months before, "violent crimes in the Atwater area have skyrocketed." [24]

Murder of Christina Duran

Christina Duran (29), a friend of McGhee's, learned of Marjorie Mendoza's murder after McGhee solicited her help that same day. He needed to retrieve his girlfriend's cellphone he had dropped at the scene of the Mendoza murder. Duran was unsuccessful in finding the cellphone, but police managed to locate it and used it as evidence in McGhee's eventual trial. Shortly after the murder, Duran admitted to police during a videotaped interview with LAPD homicide detectives that McGhee was involved in the death of Mendoza. [10] She was visibly shaken during the interrogation, frequently stating her fear of retribution. Two days after speaking with police, Christina Duran was killed in an execution-style murder on the night she celebrated her 29th birthday party, allegedly shot by McGhee five times in the right side of the head. [11]

McGhee wrote hip hop lyrics as a hobby but never seriously pursued music. Many of his lyrics referred to his love of killing and his hatred of the police. His writings detailed the Mendoza murder as well as other previous homicides. One line eventually used against him in court read, "Witness protection won’t work/ Realize your rat ain’t going to make it to the stand," referring to his goal to eliminate anyone who might testify against him. He took the time to write, "everything in this book is a work of fiction," inside his spiral notebook in case police ever seized it. This did not deter the prosecution in his eventual trial. [21]

America's Most Wanted

In the fall of 2002, a task force of as many as 60 local and federal investigators began searching for McGhee after linking him to numerous homicides. LAPD detectives had enough evidence to charge him in a single case, the homicide of Margie Mendoza. On August 28, the LAPD appealed to the public for information regarding McGhee's involvement in the Mendoza murder and the triple homicide involving Cheri Wisotsky. A $55,000 reward was offered, but no one came forward. [12]

When it became clear that McGhee was running the Toonerville gang from out of state, the U.S. Marshals Service aided the LAPD in forming a task force with more investigators, vehicles, and aircraft. [25] McGhee was placed on the US Marshall's 15 Most Wanted Fugitives list on September 25, 2002, wanted for questioning in an additional 11 homicides. At this point, McGhee had been officially charged only with the Mendoza murder by the Los Angeles district attorney's office. In contrast, U.S. marshals had charged him with the federal offense of Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution under warrant number W663293984. [6] [13] City councilman Eric Garcetti posted a $50,000 reward for McGhee's capture. [21] Even the popular television series America's Most Wanted appealed to the public by filming a segment in early 2003 dedicated to the search for McGhee. [26]

Despite such a record of violence, McGhee had received surprisingly little attention from the national media before this point, with barely any coverage in Southern California. In 2002, there would have only been 11 individuals alive in the United States who had committed more than 12 homicides. As Los Angeles Times reporter Jack Leonard put it many years later, "even in a city with more than 150 gang slayings a year, Timothy Joseph McGhee's murders stood out." [1] But not in 2003. The public hadn’t heard much, but detectives knew McGhee's name well. Suspicious of the grand scope of McGhee's power and influence in the criminal world, they had difficulty linking him to his crimes because neighborhood residents, fellow gang members, and even rivals wouldn’t talk to police, terrified of retaliation.

On January 10, 2003, the Los Angeles Times reported that a 29-year-old McGhee was wanted for his role in a dozen homicides, perhaps the notoriety that drove McGhee to flee the state of California. He had already spent the last six months shifting between Atwater Village, Las Vegas, and Arizona, never staying in one place for more than a week. He would even throw off police by brazenly staying in rival gangs’ neighborhoods. [25] LAPD officer Andy Teague was quoted as saying, "People know you don’t cross McGhee. If you cross him, you’re dead." [27] A break in the case came when a reader of the Mojave Desert News recognized 29-year-old McGhee, from a photograph in the newspaper, as a man who was living in Bullhead City, Arizona. McGhee's father happened to own a business there, making the lead credible. [25] The witness led authorities to a Ramar Street apartment on February 11, 2003, where McGhee had lived off and on for the past year. [28] [13] [25]


On February 11, 2003, a surveillance team in Bullhead City observed a man resembling the 29-year-old fugitive leaving the apartment in question, but conclusive identification was not possible in the dark. Investigators followed the suspect to a double-wide mobile home near Brill Street, but no arrest was made. Early February 12, after roughly 20 hours of surveillance, as authorities were preparing a search warrant and planning to raid the home with a SWAT team, U.S. marshals positively identified McGhee departing the residence with a female driver. [13] Officers pulled the vehicle over around 1:00 PM on Roadrunner Drive [25] and McGhee was ordered out of the car and onto the ground in the presence of more than 25 officers of the LAPD, Bullhead City Police Department, and federal law enforcement. McGhee surrendered without a struggle, refusing to speak. When an LAPD officer who knew McGhee attempted to engage him in conversation, McGhee glared at him, smiling at spectators. The suspect wore a T-shirt that read "Run. Jump. Throw a donut," referring to the best way to elude a police officer. [25] Another T-shirt was discovered in McGhee's possession that read "Fugitive. Can’t see me," exemplifying his sheer audacity. The female driver was unaware of McGhee's true identity, nor did she have any suspicion that he was a wanted man.

On February 13, McGhee appeared at the Mojave County courthouse in Kingman, Arizona, to begin extradition proceedings. [3]

On February 15, 2003, season 16, episode 16 of America's Most Wanted aired after the fact. McGhee's story was outlined as well as the high-profile case of Elizabeth Smart, who had been missing for 256 days. The episode led to her rescue 25 days later and the arrest of her kidnapper Brian David Mitchell. [26]

With McGhee in custody, the next logical choice for head of the Toonerville gang was Juan "Sharpie" Rodarte, a close associate of McGhee's. However, Rodarte was arrested later in 2003 for possessing a firearm and cocaine. [29]

Prison riot

While awaiting trial, McGhee was held without bail in the Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail, the largest single jail facility in the world just minutes south of Atwater Village. [30] Being the charismatic leader that he was, he commanded the respect of equally intimidating criminals housed in cell block 3300 A-Row, the highest security area of the facility. McGhee was the shot caller, and fellow inmates would not act without his permission. He claimed to have been verbally and physically assaulted by deputies during his time in jail, even reporting one incident to the ACLU.

On January 7, 2005, at roughly 4:40 PM, inmate Rudolfo Gonzalez, intoxicated from a homemade alcoholic concoction, was to be removed from cell block A. Sheriff Deputy Raul Ibarra handcuffed Gonzalez and extracted him from his cell under the ruse of meeting with his attorney. Obediently, Gonzalez attempted to return to his cell, fearing something was amiss as he did not have an attorney. Upon changing direction, Gonzalez was tackled by four deputies. They passed McGhee's cell who stated that Gonzalez, an acquaintance of his since elementary school, did not have his permission to leave.

He incited McGhee's rage and commanded inmates to assault the deputies with apples, oranges, urine, and bleach. It took 20 minutes to remove Gonzalez from the cell block successfully. McGhee then ordered inmates to break the sinks in their cells so jagged pieces of porcelain could be used as weapons. It was hours later, nearly 10:00 PM that evening when two deputies began their shifts and investigated the damage in A-Row. They were assaulted with books, fruit, porcelain, and various items as they entered. Inmates set multiple fires, and a riot squad was assembled to quash the rebellion. By 2:00 AM the following morning, all inmates had been removed from A-Row, most voluntarily surrendering but McGhee dragged out by force. [4] Addressing the fact that an officer he assaulted survived the attack, McGhee was quoted as saying, "Next time I’ll have to stab him." [1]

McGhee's trial

On September 27, 2007, four and a half years after his capture, McGhee went on trial for the murders of Ronnie Martin, Ryan Gonzalez, and Marjorie Mendoza. Additionally, he was charged with the attempted murder of six individuals, including LAPD officers Thomas Baker and Carlos Langarica, Duane Natividad, Erica Rhee, Pedro Sanchez, and Juan Cardiel. [21] Prosecutors initially charged the gang member with nine murders but dropped six charges before the trial began citing unreliable witnesses. McGhee was defended by attorneys H. Clay Jacke II and Franklin Peters, Jr., attorneys with a combined 56 years of practice. In 2012, Jacke was appointed a Superior Court judge in Los Angeles County by California Governor Jerry Brown. [31]

Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry presided over the case. Perry has overseen several high-profile cases in Los Angeles, sentencing arsonist John Leonard Orr to life in prison in 1998 [32] and dismissing drug conspiracy charges against Howard K. Stern in 2011 regarding the death of model Anna Nicole Smith. [33]

In court, police and prosecutors described McGhee as a thrill killer, among the most feared gang members in Los Angeles. A chilling portrayal of the life of a gang member was presented with testimony of cold-blooded murder casually implemented to protect the organization's lucrative illegal drug business. Deputy District Attorney Hoon Chun stated that, unlike most gang members who kill for revenge, McGhee seemed to kill for sport, much like a serial killer. Evidence was presented that McGhee taunted at least one of his victims, saying, "Die like a man." before firing the fatal shot into his skull. While prosecutors detailed the horrific crimes, McGhee was amused. He frequently flashed a broad smile at spectators in the courtroom. [16]

Despite his notorious reputation, the prosecution was able to solicit the testimony of McGhee's gang rivals, former gang affiliates, and even his accomplices. Several of these witnesses were under police protection for their safety while others had to be ordered to testify. However, intimidated by the mere presence of McGhee in court, a number of rival gang members drastically changed their testimonies. Cardiel and Sanchez now claimed they weren’t sure who shot them a decade earlier. Even prosecutors, his own attorneys, and gang experts declined comment outside of court. [11]

McGhee's incriminating hip hop lyrics were also used against him in court in which he detailed a number of his murders. [34] He compared himself to fictional serial killer Freddy Krueger from the motion picture series A Nightmare on Elm Street and outlaw Jesse James. [11] Residents of Atwater Village were terrified of the possibility that McGhee could be found innocent and subsequently released to terrorize the neighborhood again. Police had noted that crime escalated in the area during spans when McGhee was not in custody. Meanwhile McGhee's mother canvassed the neighborhood during his incarceration passing out leaflets that asked for prayer for her son. [21]


Early on in the deliberation process, a juror who favored the defense was removed for unspecified reasons and replaced by an alternate. [1] On October 25, 2007, after a week of deliberations, eight men and four women found McGhee guilty of all three murders. [35] He was also found guilty in the attempted murder of four other individuals including the two LAPD officers whose ambush he organized, and Duane Natividad and Erica Rhee who were shot in Atwater Village.

McGhee was acquitted of the attempted murders of Pedro Sanchez and Juan Cardiel, [21] both of whom identified McGhee the night they were shot only to claim in court that they could not recall the perpetrator. [16]


On October 26, 2007, the death penalty phase of the trial began. McGhee was eligible for the death penalty because he was convicted of multiple murders and used homicide to further the activities of a criminal street gang. Prosecutors presented additional evidence that McGhee was involved in a fourth murder, that of Christina Duran. McGhee was not tried for her murder after so many witnesses refused to testify against him. [11] On November 9, 2007, after days of deliberating, the same jury that convicted McGhee deadlocked on whether he should be executed or receive life in prison without parole. After three days of deliberations, the vote remained 10-to-2 in favor of the death penalty so prosecutors elected to retry the penalty phase of the case.

On November 14, 2007, McGhee stood trial for his role in the 2005 prison riot. He was sentenced to 75 years to life after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit an assault, conspiracy to commit vandalism, three counts of resisting executive officers in the performance of their duties, and two counts of assault. [4] On August 27, 2008, with six sheriffs standing guard and the accused sitting shackled in an orange jumpsuit, a second jury agreed unanimously that 35-year-old McGhee should be sentenced to death. [35]

A fatal shooting on October 8, 2008, in which a Toonerville gang member killed a Mongols motorcycle gang member on a Los Angeles interstate initiated a probe into gang activity and the prosecution of 20 Toonerville members. [36]

On January 9, 2009, Judge Perry sentenced McGhee to death. [1] McGhee was additionally sentenced to multiple consecutive life sentences for the four attempted murders. [36] Perry stated that McGhee treated killing as "some kind of perverse sport, as if he was [ sic ] hunting human game." He continued "(McGhee) is a committed killer and an obvious danger to society." [1] McGhee showed no emotion.

Timothy Joseph McGhee was moved from San Quentin's death row as part of Gov. Gavin Newsom's plan to end the death penalty in California. McGhee is now serving a life without parole sentence at Salinas Valley State Prison. His CDCR Number is G47302.

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Ray Lopez is an American former police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the central figure in the LAPD Rampart scandal. An officer with the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) task force, Pérez was involved in numerous crimes and corruption, notably the shooting and framing of Javier Ovando, in addition to the theft and resale of at least $800,000 of cocaine from LAPD evidence lockers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Los Angeles Police Department</span>

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was formed in 1869, and has since become the third-largest law enforcement agency in the United States. They have been involved in various events in history, such as the Black Dahlia murder, the Watts riots, the 1992 Los Angeles riots, the North Hollywood shootout, the murder trial of O. J. Simpson, and the Rampart scandal.

Special Order 40 is a police mandate implemented in 1979 by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), its Police Chief Daryl Gates and the Los Angeles City Council preventing LAPD officers from questioning people for the sole purpose of determining their immigration status. The mandate was passed in an effort to encourage undocumented aliens to report crimes without intimidation. The first section of the order states:

Officers shall not initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person.
Officers shall not arrest nor book persons for violation of title 8, section 1325 of the United States Immigration code.

Gino Floyd "Nino" Durden is a former American police officer in the Los Angeles Police Department Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) unit implicated in the LAPD Rampart scandal. Durden, along with Officer Rafael Pérez, was involved in the shooting and framing of gang member Javier Ovando. Both officers later made false statements against Ovando in court.

Crime in Los Angeles has varied throughout time, reaching peaks between the 1970s and 1990s. Since the early 2020s, crime has increased in Los Angeles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Avenues (gang)</span> Mexican-American street gang

The Avenues, also known as Avenidas or AVE's, is a Mexican/Mexican American criminal street gang mostly in Los Angeles County, California. They originally started as a social club for local Latino youths to protect themselves from other violent youths. The Avenues, like most Mexican gangs in Los Angeles, are under the direct control of the Mexican Mafia when sent to State, County, or Federal prisons.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Toonerville Rifa 13</span> Mexican-American street gang

Toonerville Rifa 13, also known as The Ville, is a Mexican-American street gang located in Los Angeles county.

The Glendale Police Department responds to and records criminal acts in Glendale, California. Despite historic gang activity in the city that has decreased in frequency since the 1990s, as well as several incidents of arson, a 2022 report ranked Glendale as the fifth safest city in the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Murder of the Notorious B.I.G.</span> 1997 unsolved murder of American rapper

Christopher Wallace, an American rapper known professionally as the Notorious B.I.G., was murdered in a drive-by shooting in the early hours of March 9, 1997 in Los Angeles, California. He was 24 years old.

William Ernest Leasure is an American murderer and former police officer. While an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), he was involved in two contract killings.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Simon (biker)</span> American outlaw biker and murderer (1954–1999)

Robert Ronald "Mudman" Simon, also known as Bobby Simon, was an American outlaw biker, convicted murderer and member of the Pennsylvania-based Warlocks Motorcycle Club. He had formerly been sentenced to death by the state of New Jersey on May 6, 1995, for his part in the fatal shooting of Franklin Township police sergeant Ippolito Gonzalez. However, he was ultimately beaten to death at New Jersey State Prison by a fellow death row inmate before he could be executed.


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