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Officer Christopher WilsonSAN DIEGO — A woman who was hiding in a southeast San Diego apartment where a police officer was killed during a raid was sentenced Thursday to decades in prison for her part in the death.

Melissa Ortiz, 24, pleaded guilty last month to voluntary manslaughter in connection with the Oct. 27, 2010, shooting death of Officer Christopher Wilson, a 17-year veteran. Thursday, she was sentenced to 25 years and four months in prison.

Ortiz admitted turning off a light so officers entering the bedroom were completely “back-lit” and exposed, giving her friends an advantage against the officers standing in a lighted hallway.

Two other defendants were sentenced previously.

Patrick Luangrath, 22, who failed to obey orders to come out of the apartment, also pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 22 years and four months in prison.

Alex Charfauros, 29, was convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 85 years to life plus 11 years.

Prosecutor Michael Runyon said at Charfauros’ trial that if he had told the truth about armed people holed up in his apartment, Wilson may not have been killed the night county probation officers and U.S. marshals went there.

Probation officers were checking on Charfauros, and the marshals were looking for Holim Lee, who had outstanding warrants for assault and a probation violation.

Officers forced their way into the apartment, and Charfauros came crawling out of the east bedroom.

Officers asked Charfauros if there were any guns, drugs or anyone else holed up inside, but the defendant was uncooperative, Runyon said.

A number of San Diego police officers were called to assist, including Wilson, who was shot in the head and died a short time later.

Lee and his girlfriend, Lucky Xayasene, were found dead in the bedroom from self-inflicted gunshots wounds. Prosecutors said Lee fired the shot that killed Wilson.

SAN DIEGO — A man convicted of second-degree murder in connection with the death of a San Diego police officer was sentenced to life in prison Monday.

Alex Charfauros, 29, was also found guilty of attempted murder of a peace officer. The judge sentenced him to 96 years to life in prison.

Alex Charfauro, Officer Christopher Wilson deathKaylee Wilson, who was 20 when her father was killed, said it makes her “sick” thinking about Charfauros’ inactions when officers asked him if there were any guns, people or drugs in his apartment.

“All you had to do was say something,” Kaylee Wilson told the defendant. “I lost my dad and your (10-year-old) daughter lost her dad.”

The officer’s daughter said she had to get married without her father present and her younger brother had to graduate from high school without his father being there.

“Your actions forced us to grow up very quickly,” she told Charfauros.

Charfauros admitted to being a methamphetamine addict but said he was not responsible for Wilson’s death.

“I’m not a cop killer. I’m not a killer,” Charfauros said in court. “I would never wish this on anyone. I had no idea (Holim) Lee would do what he did.”

The night of Oct. 27, 2010, probation officers and U.S. marshals went to Charfauros’ apartment on South Meadowbrook Drive. Probation officers were checking on Charfauros, and the marshals were looking for Lee, who had outstanding warrants for assault and a probation violation, prosecutor Michael Runyon said.

A man — not the defendant — opened the door and said Charfauros wasn’t home, then slammed it shut. Officers forced entry into the apartment and Charfauros came crawling out of the east bedroom.

Once outside, officers asked Charfauros if there were any guns, drugs or anyone else inside, but the defendant was uncooperative, Runyon said.

A number of officers were called to assist, including Wilson. Once inside, an officer kicked in the door of the west bedroom and “all hell broke loose at that point,” Runyon said. Wilson, 50, was shot in the head and died a short time later.

Charfauros had not told law enforcement that Lee and his girlfriend, Lucky Xayasene, were living in the apartment and that four guns and a shotgun were “waiting on those officers,” Runyon said. Charfauros also failed to inform officers that Patrick Luangrath and Melissa Ortiz were in the apartment.

The bodies of Lee — believed to be the shooter — and Xayasene were found in the west bedroom with self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

Charfauros’ probation officer, Bobby Burns, criticized the defendant for not letting him and other officers know of the danger that awaited them in the apartment, even though Burns had tried to help Charfauros in the past.

“I have to believe the plan was for me to die that night,” Burns said.

Luangrath and Ortiz pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Luangrath was sentenced to more than 22 years behind bars. Ortiz will be sentenced next month.

Officer Christopher WilsonSAN DIEGO — A woman pleaded guilty Thursday to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a San Diego police officer even though she never fired a shot.

Melissa Ortiz, 24, also pleaded guilty to an April 2011 robbery at the Apple store in the Otay Ranch Towne Center, along with gang and gun allegations.

She will be sentenced to 25 years and four months in state prison at a hearing Oct. 17.

Ortiz was charged in July 2011 with murder in the Oct. 27, 2010, shooting death of San Diego police Officer Christopher Wilson, a 17-year veteran.

Ortiz admitted turning off a light so officers entering the bedroom were completely “back-lit” and exposed, giving her friends an advantage against the officers who were standing in a lighted hallway.

Patrick Luangrath, 22, who also failed to obey orders to come out of the apartment, previously pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced today to 22 years and four months in prison.

Alex Charfauros, 29, was convicted last month of second-degree murder and four counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and is scheduled to be sentenced Monday. He faces life in prison.

Prosecutor Michael Runyon told jurors at Charfauros’ trial that if he had told the truth about armed people holed up in his apartment on South Meadowbrook Drive, Wilson may not have been killed the night county probation officers and U.S. marshals went there.

Probation officers were checking on Charfauros, and the marshals were looking for Holim Lee, who had outstanding warrants for assault and a probation violation.

A man opened the door and said Charfauros wasn’t home, then slammed it shut, Runyon said. Officers forced entry into the apartment and after a while, Charfauros came crawling out of the east bedroom.

Once outside, officers asked Charfauros if there were any guns, drugs or anyone else holed up inside, but the defendant was uncooperative, saying he had been at work, then went to sleep, Runyon said.

A number of San Diego police officers were called to assist, including Wilson, who also questioned Charfauros about who and what was still in the apartment, but the defendant said he didn’t know, according to Runyon.

Wilson was shot in the head and died a short time later. He was 50.

Lee and his girlfriend, Lucky Xayasene, were found dead in the bedroom from self-inflicted gunshots wounds. Prosecutors said Lee fired the shot that killed Wilson.

Five guns were found in the apartment, along with 80 grams of methamphetamine, police said.

Six weeks before the fatal shooting, police were called to a different apartment belonging to Luangrath, forcing an hourlong SWAT action involving he and Ortiz, according to Runyon.

SAN DIEGO — A man refused to come out an apartment, leading police to make a forced entry in which a veteran San Diego officer was killed, was sentenced Tuesday to 22 years and four months in state prison.

Patrick Luangrath, 22, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a gang allegation, along with an unrelated burglary charge.

Luangrath, along with Alex Charfauros and Melissa Ortiz, were charged with murder in the Oct. 27, 2010, shooting death of Officer Christopher Wilson.

Charfauros, 29, was convicted last month of second-degree murder and four counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and faces life in prison. Trial is pending for the 24-year-old Ortiz.

Outside court today, Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon said Luangrath remained holed up in a bedroom for 30 minutes, refusing repeated commands by officers to come out.

“As far as Mr. Luangrath is concerned, his liability is based on his refusal to come out of the bedroom and surrender to officers when he had knowledge that other people within that bedroom were armed with firearms,” Runyon told reporters.

San Diego police Officer Travis Whipple, who survived the shooting, told Luangrath that he let his friends and family down with the poor choices he had made.

“I just can’t help but feel for them,” Whipple said. “You failed them.”

Whipple, who served in the Marine Corps and did combat duty in Iraq before becoming a police officer, urged Luangrath to turn his life around and not let Wilson’s death be in vain.

“Be the change you want to see in this world,” he told the defendant.

Whipple said he didn’t know Wilson that well, but called the 17-year veteran and training officer a “hero” and a “legend.”

Runyon told jurors at Charfauros’ trial that if he had told the truth about armed people holed up in his apartment on South Meadowbrook Drive, Wilson may not have been killed the night county probation officers and U.S. marshals went there.

Probation officers were checking on Charfauros, and the marshals were looking for Holim Lee, who had outstanding warrants for assault and a probation violation.

A man opened the door and said Charfauros wasn’t home, then slammed it shut, Runyon said. Officers forced entry into the apartment and after a while, Charfauros came crawling out of the east bedroom.

Once outside, officers asked Charfauros if there were any guns, drugs or anyone else holed up inside, but the defendant was uncooperative, saying he had been at work, then went to sleep, Runyon said.

A number of San Diego police officers were called to assist, including Wilson, who also questioned Charfauros about who and what was still in the apartment, but the defendant said he didn’t know, according to Runyon.

Wilson was shot in the head and died a short time later. He was 50.

Lee and his girlfriend, Lucky Xayasene, were found dead in the bedroom from self-inflicted gunshots wounds. Prosecutors said Lee fired the shot that killed Wilson.

Court, gavel, trialSAN DIEGO — A probationer was convicted Friday of second-degree murder in the 2010 shooting death of a San Diego police officer.

Alex Charfauros, 29, was also convicted of four counts of attempted premeditated murder of a peace officer. He faces multiple life prison terms when he is sentenced Sept. 23 for the killing of Christopher Wilson.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon, who argued the case on a first- degree murder theory, said he was pleased with the jury’s findings.

“Although one of our arguments was premeditated first-degree murder, we had, as we explained to the jury, multiple theories of liability, including application of natural and probable consequences doctrine,” Runyon told reporters

“This second-degree murder verdict, I think, can be interpreted to show the application of the natural and probable consequences doctrine.”

Runyon told jurors that if Charfauros had told the truth about armed people holed up in his southeast San Diego apartment nearly three years ago, Wilson may not have been killed.

The night of Oct. 27, 2010, county probation officers and U.S. marshals went to Charfauros’ apartment on South Meadowbrook Drive, Runyon told jurors.

Probation officers were checking on Charfauros and the marshals were looking for Holim Lee, who had outstanding warrants for assault with a deadly weapon and a probation violation.

A man — not the defendant — opened the door and said Charfauros wasn’t home, then slammed it shut, Runyon said. Officers forced entry into the apartment and after a while, Charfauros came crawling out of the east bedroom, according to the prosecutor.

Once outside, officers asked Charfauros if there were any guns, drugs or anyone else holed up inside, but the defendant was uncooperative, saying he was at work, then sleeping, and providing no definitive information, Runyon said.

A number of San Diego police officers were called to assist, including Wilson, who also questioned Charfauros about who and what was still in the apartment, but the defendant said he didn’t know, according to Runyon.

Once inside, a police officer kicked in the door of the west bedroom and “all hell broke loose at that point,” Runyon told the jury in his opening statement.

Wilson, a 17-year veteran and training officer, was shot in the head and died a short time later. He was 50.

A police dog was shot in the snout but survived.

Among the things Charfauros failed to tell law enforcement was that Lee and his girlfriend, Lucky Xayasene, were living in the apartment and that three guns and a shotgun were “waiting on those officers,” Runyon said.

Charfauros also failed to inform law enforcement that Patrick Luangrath and Melissa Ortiz — who are also charged with murder but will be tried separately — were in the apartment that night, according to Runyon.

After the gunfire broke out, an officer grabbed Charfauros, threw him against a wall and asked, “Why didn’t you say something? All you had to do was tell us,” Runyon told the jury.

A couple hours later, Ortiz and Luangrath emerged from the east bedroom. The bodies of Lee — believed to be the shooter — and Xayasene were found in the west bedroom with self-inflicted gunshot wounds, and guns were nearby, Runyon said.

“When they (officers) kicked in that door, they stepped into a small armory that was fired at them,” Runyon said as he urged jurors to hold Charfauros liable for Wilson’s death.

In his opening statement, defense attorney David I. Berman said prosecutors lacked the evidence to find Charfauros guilty of murder, saying Lee was responsible for Wilson’s death and that his client was wrongly accused.

Berman, in his closing argument, said mistakes by law enforcement put Wilson in harm’s way, and that Charfauros was a scapegoat because the community has to have someone to blame for Wilson’s death.

The children of Officer Christopher Wilson say that Councilman DeMaio voted in June 2011 to deny health benefits to them after their father was killed.

SAN DIEGO – The children of a slain San Diego police officer have come out against mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio in a new television ad produced by the Filner for Mayor campaign.

In the commercial, the children of Officer Christopher Wilson say that Councilman DeMaio voted in June 2011 to deny health benefits to them after their father was killed. Wilson was shot in the head in 2010 during a shootout at an apartment complex.

Filner declined to be interviewed about the commercial, but his campaign released a statement that said, in part:

Our campaign learned of Kaylee and Conner Wilson’s interest in speaking out about Carl DeMaio’s actions. We contacted them and they agreed to participate in the commercial.

The commercial draws attention to Carl DeMaio’s pattern of seeking political gain without concern for the impact of his actions on the individuals involved. He’s done it repeatedly to city workers and to anyone else who disagrees with him. As you can see, this behavior can have very real consequences.

“This is a total lie. I’ve never voted against this measure to hurt the families of officers,” DeMaio responded.

DeMaio said he did vote against a budget plan that included the benefits for families of  fallen officers, but he would have supported the benefits if they had been a separate measure. He said he developed a funding plan to support benefits for public safety workers.

“I created a city law that helps officers and firefighters to protect their benefits.  I have done a lot for those on the frontline and their families and always will,” said DeMaio.

DeMaio claimed his opponent is taking cheap shots. He took the opportunity to make several counter charges against the congressman.

“Filner voted against embassy funding, survivor benefits for military families and against health programs for military families,” DeMaio claimed

The candidates will get another chance to trade charges and counter charges during a televised debate on FOX5 Morning News on Oct. 31.

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