Gang member accused in California officer's slaying was on probation

Gang member accused in California officer's slaying was on probation

February 22nd, 2017 by Associated Press in Breaking News
This undated booking photo provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department shows Michael Christopher Mejia, 26. Authorities have identified Mejia as the suspect they say fatally shot Whittier, Calif., police officer Keith Boyerand injured another as the officers responded to a traffic accident Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. Authorities say Mejia is a known gang member who was recently released from jail. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department via AP)

This undated booking photo provided by the Los...

Photo by The Associated Press/Times Free Press.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Officials say a California criminal justice reform initiative played no role in the length of the prison sentence of a gang member who is accused of shooting two police officers, one of whom died.

Michael Christopher Mejia was identified Tuesday as the suspect responsible for the slaying of Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer. A second officer, Patrick Hazell, was wounded.

Authorities say Mejia had served time in prison for robbery and auto theft charges and was released on probation in April under a reform measure known as Assembly Bill 109, which allows some offenders to be released under the supervision of county probation officers instead of on state parole.

On Monday, Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper criticized the initiative and other measures, saying they were "laws that are raising crimes."


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