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Man Convicted in Officer’s ’96 Death

From Associated Press

A gang leader was convicted Friday of murdering a rookie California Highway Patrol officer during a 1996 traffic stop in Fullerton.

Hung Thanh Mai, 28, was also found guilty of the special circumstance of murdering a peace officer in the performance of his duty, making him eligible for the death penalty, which prosecutors promised to pursue.

Superior Court Judge Richard Weatherspoon handed down the verdict because Mai had waived his right to a jury trial.

The penalty phase of the trial is expected to begin next month.

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Prosecutors said they believe Mai shot Officer Don Burt Jr. in July 1996 because he found counterfeit checks in Mai’s car.

In June, Mai pleaded guilty to federal charges of plotting a witness’ murder from his jail cell and was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison.


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