Jury Recommends Death for Ex-Sheriff’s Deputy
It took a jury less than two hours Friday to recommend the death penalty for former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Stephen Moreland Redd, convicted last month of killing a Yorba Linda supermarket manager during a robbery in 1994.
Redd, 50, sat stoically as the jury’s decision was read aloud in court while the family of victim Timothy Eugene McVeigh silently wept.
“I’m just so thankful for the jury,” said the victim’s 57-year-old mother, Carol McVeigh. “They were able to come to what I thought was a just verdict.”
That verdict, she said, is one of the few things she can take comfort in.
“There will be some closure, but it won’t be complete because my son will be gone from me forever,” she said.
McVeigh’s father, James, said that Redd deserves to be put to death.
“If you’re prepared to take a life,” he said, “you’d better be prepared to forfeit your own.”
After the verdict was announced, the McVeigh family--who had attended each day of the trial--held an emotional two-hour meeting with the members of the jury.
“They have been waiting 2 1/2 years for this day,” said Deputy Dist. Atty. Lew Rosenblum, who prosecuted the case. “I think the family was very appreciative of the jury’s efforts. The jury also really felt the loss of the victim as well.”
Redd’s attorney, Don Rubright, expressed disappointment with the verdict. He had called in Redd’s mother and three grown children to testify during the penalty phase of the trial.
“I respect the jury’s decision, but I disagree,” said Rubright, one of two public defenders handling the case.
Rubright had argued that it was the trauma from several on-duty incidents--including the death of his partner and his inability to save a screaming man from a burning car--that led to Redd’s resignation and problems with the law.
He said that had Redd received the proper psychological help, his life would not have taken such a downward turn.
Redd, who was once a Medal of Valor recipient, led a very different life after leaving law enforcement.
Redd’s first crimes took place during a two-month period in 1982 when he robbed a series of stores and banks. He shot a La Habra police officer in the leg after robbing a bank in La Habra and was arrested after a three-county chase. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison and released on parole in 1993.
By June 1994, Redd was wanted for a series of robberies and shootings, including the attempted murder of a security guard. Then on June 10, 1994, he shot and killed McVeigh at close range during a robbery at the Alpha Beta that McVeigh managed. McVeigh was 35.
At that time, Redd had vowed not to be taken alive and eluded a nationwide manhunt until March 6, 1995, when he was arrested by a U.S. Park Police detective in San Francisco.
McVeigh’s brother, Michael, said Friday that he was particularly upset that Redd had committed similar crimes earlier and had been freed.
“My brother would be alive if he [Redd] wasn’t out,” the brother said.
Redd contended during the trial that he never intended to kill McVeigh and that his gun fired accidentally during a struggle.
But Rosenblum said Redd was “as cold as it gets,” and it was only a matter of time before someone died at his hands.
“This was eventually going to come to all this,” Rosenblum said. “Mr. Redd had tried to murder six people in his life and finally he succeeded.”
Redd will be sentenced by a superior court judge in January.
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