SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — After just four hours of deliberations, a jury handed down the death penalty Tuesday to convicted and confessed cop killer Luis Bracamontes.
The illegal immigrant from Mexico was found guilty in February for the murders of two Sacramento area deputies in October of 2014.
Following the verdict, some of the jurors walked out of the courtroom in tears—not about their choice to sentence Luis Bracamontes to death, but for the families of the fallen deputies.
Tears of both sorrow and joy from the loved ones of slain Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Sheriff’s Det. Michael Davis, Jr., as a jury sentenced their killer to death.
“To actually hear those words and the imposition in not just one but both deaths, it was a great relief,” said Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones.
Wearing the same chilling grin he wore during his double murder trial, Bracamontes laughed as he heard his fate, looking right in the eye of Danny’s mother, Jeri, and clapping. She smiled back, and her focus was unfazed.
“Justice is done for Danny and Mike,” said Oliver.
The jury was officially dismissed from the case Tuesday.
“We wanted to make sure that we got it right,” said juror Sam Wood.
Wood said the case was an emotional roller coaster, hearing months of testimony and evidence and seeing the impacts the murders had on the deputies’ families and loved ones.
“When you’re a juror on something like this, it pulls you into the experience the families have. For all of us, it was very difficult to see that, to experience it. It was almost like we were victims ourselves in a lot of ways.”
Jurors say the Bracamontes’ offensive outbursts didn’t and couldn’t play a role in the verdict. Juror Vincent Shank says the killer’s own confessions made the guilt phase easier, but the death penalty decision was more complicated.
“You’re dealing with someone’s life. That’s not something to take lightly,” said Shank.
For the brutal murders of two local deputies, still grieving loved ones say death is a well-deserved sentence.
“I can think of no more fitting candidate for it than him,” Jones said.
A judge is expected to formally sentence Bracamontes April 25.
California has not executed an inmate since 2006, but a court case beginning on Wednesday could be the start of resuming executions.