A Venice transient was found guilty by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury Monday, November 16th in the first-degree murder of a Los Angeles Airport Police officer more than four years ago.
Jurors must now decide if William Sadowski, 51, was legally insane when he carjacked the patrol car of Airport Police officer Tommy Scott near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and crashed the vehicle into a fire hydrant, killing the officer who was clinging to the door. Sadowski has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and Superior Court Judge Lance Ito said the sanity phase of the trial began November 16th.
Scott, who was on patrol on Lincoln Boulevard when he encountered Sadowski April 29th, 2005, was the first Airport Police officer killed in the line of duty.
Jurors, who deliberated for less than two days, found true the special circumstance allegation that the murder was committed in the course of a carjacking and found not true the special circumstance allegation that a peace officer was intentionally killed while engaged in the performance of his duties, county district attorney spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said.
Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association President Marshall McClain, who knew Scott, said that while jurors are still deliberating the sanity phase, the association that represented Scott is pleased with the guilty verdict in his killing.
“We are satisfied that the jury heard the evidence and came back with a guilty verdict in the murder of officer Tommy Scott,” McClain said.
Sadowski was additionally convicted of two counts of carjacking and one count of attempted carjacking. After crashing Scott’s car, Sadowski attempted to carjack a passing vehicle before carjacking another vehicle, which he crashed over an airport perimeter fence before he was arrested.
Jurors found true the allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a police vehicle, and found not true the accusation that the murder was willful, deliberate and premeditated, Davila-Morales said.
The outcome of the sanity phase of the trial will impact whether Sadowski will face life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or will be ordered to a state mental facility, Davila-Morales said.