(AP Photo/Federal Police, HO)
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (CBS/AP) The case that inspired Justin Timberlake's "Alpha Dog" movie has ended in a life sentence for marijuana dealer Jesse James Hollywood, who kidnapped and ordered the killing of a 15-year-old boy.
(Universal Studios/Darren Michaels)
Photo: Jesse James Hollywood.
Superior Court Judge Brian Hill on Friday sentenced Hollywood to life without the possibility of parole in a Santa Barbara courtroom after denying a defense motion for a new trial.
Hollywood had faced a possible death penalty, but jurors recommended life after finding him guilty of first-degree murder.
Photo: Justin Timberlake in "Alpha Dog."
Prosecutors say Hollywood ordered the killing of Nicholas Markowitz in August 2000 over a drug debt owed by his half-brother.
The case drew national interest because of the brazen daylight kidnapping of Markowitz from a San Fernando Valley street, the details of his murder and Hollywood's notorious name.
It also captured the attention of producers who made the 2007 movie "Alpha Dog," with Bruce Willis, Justin Timberlake and Emile Hirsch, who played "Johnny Truelove," a character based on Hollywood.
"I feel strongly that my client could not receive a fair trial because of the movie and the pretrial publicity," argued defense attorney James Blatt, who said Hollywood's case was the first ever in the U.S. depicted in a movie released prior to trial.
The judge was not moved by his argument. In the end, the jury wasn't either.
Four others also were convicted in the case, including the gunman who was sentenced to death.
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May 18, 2009 - 'Alpha Dog' Murder Trial Begins; Prosecutor Called Jesse James Hollywood A Coward