Death Penalty for Ex-Deputy Who Killed Store Manager


Stephen Moreland Redd, a former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy convicted last year of fatally shooting a Yorba Linda supermarket manager during a robbery, was sentenced Friday to death.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Francisco P. Briseno imposed the sentence recommended by the jury that found Redd guilty of the murder of Timothy McVeigh, 34, on June 18, 1994. In addition, Redd was also sentenced to 111 years in prison on related criminal counts.

Prior to sentencing, several members of the McVeigh family tearfully asked the judge to sentence Redd to death. The victim’s parents and siblings spoke of the dreams McVeigh had of becoming a father and a pilot, dreams that were cut short when he had the misfortune of crossing paths with Redd one night at an Alpha Beta supermarket.


They also reminded the judge that they too were victims because they lost a member of their family.

“I could not save my son,” said Carol McVeigh, the victim’s mother. “Do you have any idea what that does to a mother? I would have died for him if I could have. I would take his place now if I could.”

All pleaded with Briseno to impose the death sentence on the man they said was a cold-blooded killer.

Redd, who did not speak during the length of the trial, asked for leniency from the judge.

Redd told Briseno the eyewitness had been “prodded” to identify him by Brea police officers and that he had “never admitted” he was involved in the shooting.

But Briseno reminded Redd there was physical evidence--a gun--that linked him to the crime.

Redd also took issue with the McVeigh family’s descriptions of him as a hardened criminal who had no regard for human life.

In his version of events, Redd said Friday that committing crimes was not something he chose, but was the only alternative open to him when he found himself in difficult circumstances.

Shortly after leaving his job as a sheriff’s deputy, Redd was convicted of indecent exposure, a crime he claimed Friday that he did not commit. That first criminal conviction set in motion a series of problems that led him to commit crimes to survive, he said Friday.

Securing good-paying jobs became difficult due to his criminal record, he said. He worked for a while as a construction worker, but struggled to support himself and three children.

Records show Redd robbed stores and banks during a two-month period in 1982 when, he said, jobs became scarce. He was also sentenced to 18 years in state prison for a bank robbery during which he shot a La Habra police officer in the leg, according to court records.

When he was released from prison in 1993, he said, he again faced difficulty finding employment because of his criminal record.

“With 7 cents in my pocket, I turned to a life of crime,” he said.

The fatal store robbery occurred a little more than a year after Redd was paroled.

McVeigh’s family found little comfort in Redd’s remarks, even when he expressed sympathy for the family and said he was “saddened by what happened to Timothy McVeigh.”

Redd’s mother, on the other hand, described the sentence as heartbreaking.

“He must have been driven by circumstances to do these things,” Rosemary Redd said. “People who are driven like that have a sickness. . . . It’s been quite an experience to realize a son you knew has another personality.”

Rosemary Redd said she hopes an appellate court will overturn the death sentence, and allow her son to serve a life prison sentence.