The California Supreme Court has ordered a review of the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole twice assigned an Antioch man convicted of a 2005 robbery that resulted in the shooting death of a Pittsburg police officer.
Andrew Moffett, with Alexander Hamilton, stole a car and robbed a supermarket on April 23, 2005. While the two were attempting to evade police along the Delta de Anza Regional Trail, Hamilton shot and killed Officer Larry Lasater. Following trial in 2008, Hamilton was given the death penalty.
Moffett, ineligible for the death penalty because he was four days shy of his 18th birthday at the time of the crime, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole per a 14-year-old California legal guideline.
In 2010, an appeals court reversed the special circumstances charge of killing a peace officer against Moffett and sent the case back to Contra Costa Superior Court for resentencing. Moffett once again was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
The state Supreme Court's order is in response to a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that sentencing juveniles to life without parole violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment given the differences between juveniles and adults "with regard to their culpability and capacity for change."
Contra Costa deputy district attorney Mary Knox said Tuesday that she will contact Judge Laurel Brady, Moffett's original trial judge, to set a resentencing date. That date, Knox said, could come before the end of the month.
Last month, Knox argued a similar case, that of Kayl McCutchen, an Antioch man convicted of first-degree murder in 2011 and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Judge Theresa Canepa found no mitigating factors and upheld the sentence against McCutchen.
Contact Gary Peterson at 925-952-5053. Follow him at Twitter.com/garyscribe.