With six sheriff’s deputies standing guard, a jury late this afternoon recommended that former Atwater Village gang leader Timothy McGhee be sentenced to death for the murders of three people. McGhee, 35, had been convicted of the murders last November, but the original jury deadlocked on whether he should be put to death or receive life in prison without parole. The ex-Toonerville street gang chief is a charismatic, goateed figure who could pass for a motivational speaker. Last month, as he stood trial for leading a 2005 prison riot in the cell block he commanded, McGhee attended trial attired in a variety of well-pressed suits, his shaved head revealing a scalp tattoo of the eagle and snake found on the Mexican flag. Today, in a nearly empty courtroom, he wore a dark chalk-striped suit as he listened to the 12 jurors individually confirm their decisions to send him to death row. All court officers stood up as the 12-member panel left Department 104 – only McGhee remained seated. Judge Robert J. Perry will sentence McGhee later in the fall.
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