A San Diego County Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that prosecutors may not seek a life-without-parole sentence for Robert Earl Mack, accused of murdering one official and severely wounding another at a General Dynamics facility.
Judge Terry B. O'Rourke threw out a charge of committing murder while lying in wait, a special-circumstance allegation that, if proven, could only lead to a prison sentence of life without possibility of parole. Prosecutors had previously announced they would not seek the death penalty.
Mack, 42, is charged with murder and attempted murder in the Jan. 24 shootings at the General Dynamics Convair Division plant near Lindbergh Field. Michael Konz, 25, a labor negotiator, died of a gunshot wound in the back of the head. Supervisor James English, 52, was also shot in the back of the head, but he survived.
The shootings occurred after a grievance hearing, at which Mack sought reinstatement to his former position on the advanced cruise missile assembly line. He had been fired Jan. 15.
The maximum sentence for murder is 25 years to life. However, if convicted of attempted murder and various weapons charges, this sentence could be increased by more than 10 years.