Prosecutor Pushes for Murderer’s Execution
Convicted murderer Spencer Brasure was not like a mafia assassin who makes a clean hit from 50 feet.
Instead, Brasure’s torture and killing of Anthony Guest, 20, was so personal and so horrific that he deserves to die, Ventura County Deputy Dist. Atty. Mark Pachowicz told jurors Friday during closing arguments in the penalty phase of Brasure’s trial.
To stress his point, Pachowicz recounted in detail how Brasure tied his victim to a metal chair, zapped him with an electrical device, stapled wood to his ears, dragged him to a deserted campground and burned him alive.
“This was not a murder that was cold,” Pachowicz said, striding toward Brasure at the defense table and looking him in the eye. “The defendant experienced it. He lived it. He enjoyed it.
“He got to see him jerk, he got to smell his burning flesh, he got to hear him moan,” Pachowicz continued. “Every one of his senses was taking that in.”
Last week a jury convicted Brasure, 28, of kidnapping, torturing and killing Guest, 20, of Redondo Beach. The panel deliberated just one day before finding him guilty of first-degree murder.
Although hardened by four weeks of gruesome testimony, jurors winced as Pachowicz re-created Guest’s final night. Guest’s mother stumbled from the courtroom, sobbing.
Brasure’s defense attorneys argued that their client was spanked with a paddle by his mother, ignored by his father, and felt so unwanted that he got a tattoo on his belly that says “My mama don’t love me.”
They argued that Brasure committed a horrific crime, but that he does not deserve to be executed.
“I’m asking you to send him to prison for the rest of his life, where he will live in a room smaller than a bathroom, where the only music he will hear will be the sound of chains,” defense attorney Steven Powell said.
Although much of the crime occurred in Los Angeles County, local authorities handled the investigation because Guest was killed in Ventura County.
The acts that Brasure is accused of committing against Guest were so heinous that Brasure’s friends testified during the three-week trial that they thought he was crazy.
Sandra Johnson, who allegedly asked Brasure to stop Guest from stalking her, testified that Brasure tied Guest up with plastic trash ties and shocked him repeatedly with a makeshift electrical device that caused him to jerk in pain.
As the night wore on, Brasure stapled pieces of wood to Guest’s ears and made him eat glass, witnesses testified.
Finally, Brasure and a friend, co-defendant Billy Davis, put Guest in the back of a stolen van and drove him to a remote campground near Gorman, in the Ventura County back country, where they burned him alive, prosecutors said.
Two maintenance workers found Guest’s charred remains beneath a juniper bush in the Hungry Valley State Recreation Area in September 1996.
“I would ask you,” Pachowicz argued, “What other worse form of torture could he have inflicted upon Anthony Guest when he murdered him? What is worse than what he did?”
The jury will begin deliberations Monday.
Davis, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, is scheduled to go on trial in November.