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High court refuses review of Lake Los Angeles murder

Woman shot repeatedly in back

City News Service | 11/20/2020, midnight

The California Supreme Court has refused to review the case of a man who is serving a 50-year-to-life sentence for murdering his wife at their Lake Los Angeles home in 2018.

Michael Daniel Mayberry was convicted in February 2019 of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon for gunning down his wife, Sandy, on Feb. 25, 2018, after an argument.

In an Aug. 21 ruling, a three-justice panel from California's 2nd District Court of Appeal found that “ the evidence that defendant committed first-degree murder was based on the execution-style shooting when defendant returned to shoot the prostrate Sandy in the head.

“This occurred after the initial shots had been fired in the house, after defendant had followed Sandy outside of the house with the gun in his hand, after his mother and (a neighbor) pleaded with him to put the gun down, after defendant repeatedly said that `she made me do this,' after defendant had withdrawn into the house, and after Sandy had tried to crawl away,'' the justices noted in that 19-page ruling. “In other words, minutes passed during which others tried to intervene to bring defendant under control, leaving time for reflection and premeditation.''

The 29-year-old woman was shot four times in the back and once in the head and died at the scene.

Mayberry was arrested after calling 911 and reporting that he shot his wife. He subsequently contended that he had “just blacked out,'' had not wanted to shoot her and denied killing her because she wanted to leave him, according to the appellate court panel's ruling.