LOS ANGELES — A parolee who pleaded guilty to the execution-style killing of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant in 2016 was sentenced Monday to life in prison without possibility of parole.
Trenton Trevon Lovell, 31, was sentenced for killing Sgt. Steve Owen, who was shot five times on Oct. 5, 2016, as he answered a 911 report of a burglary in progress at an apartment building in Lancaster, in the Antelope Valley north of Los Angeles.
Owen had radioed that he had the break-in suspect at gunpoint and was standing outside his patrol car when Lovell shot him in the head, then fired four more times into his face and chest as the deputy lay wounded on the ground, prosecutors said.
Lovell confessed to investigators that after wounding Owen he “finished the job” by emptying his revolver into Owen, according to court documents.
Owen’s family members and friends spoke at Lovell’s sentencing hearing.
Owen’s daughter, Shannon Owen, said she was walking to her car after finishing classes at a college when she heard gunshots from the neighborhood across the street.
“I heard you killing my dad,” she told Lovell.
“My heart breaks for my children,” said the sergeant’s widow, Tania Owen. “And you know what? My heart breaks for your mother, for your sister and your niece. They are lovely ladies. Both families are losing a loved one.”
Members of both families embraced after the sentencing, KABC-TV reported.
Lovell pleaded guilty in April to first-degree murder and a number of other charges including attempted murder, burglary, robbery and false imprisonment by violence.
The attempted murder charge stems from Lovell using Owen’s patrol car to ram another deputy’s vehicle. Prosecutors said Lovell then jumped out of the disabled patrol car and ran to a nearby home where he robbed and held a 19-year-old woman and her 17-year-old brother at gunpoint for an hour before leaving.
He was captured a short time later.
Prosecutors didn’t seek the death penalty, which county District Attorney George Gascón opposes.
Lovell had a record of nearly a dozen previous arrests and two previous convictions for robbery. He was on parole at the time of the shooting.
Owen was a 29-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department. Then-Gov. Jerry Brown and law enforcement officers from as far away as New York attended his funeral.