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Penalty Trial Opens for 2 ‘Cotton Club’ Killers

The triggermen in the “Cotton Club” murder of would-be movie mogul Roy Radin were described Monday as veterans of Los Angeles’ criminal underbelly, with resumes that stretched from strong-arm debt collection to the murder of a flamboyant prostitute.

But a lawyer for one of the two convicted killers--one-time bodyguard William Mentzer--argued that his client does not deserve the death penalty because, as an ex-Marine and decorated Vietnam veteran, he genuinely believed “that it’s not always a bad thing to kill people.”

The arguments came during opening statements in the penalty phase of the case, in which jurors will decide whether Mentzer, 42, and Alex Marti, 30, should be sentenced to death or to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The two were convicted of first-degree murder July 19, eight years after Radin’s body was found.


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