Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP

Jurors Attempt to Form Verdict Against Former Palos Verdes High Student

Cameron Terrell is a Palos Verdes resident who drove two alleged juvenile gang members to 78th Street and Western Avenue back in an October 2017 shooting. The two men got out of the vehicle, confronted and gunned down Justine Holmes thinking he was a member of a rival gang. Terell then drove them away from the scene. On October 12th, he was arrested but later released on $5 million bail.

Terrell’s attorney argued that he was a teenager attempting to fit in while prosecutors claimed he represented his gang affiliation proudly in multiple ways. Prosecutors said that he joined the gang because he was bored of Palos Verdes. His defense attorney, Jovan Blacknell, also added “Terrell only drove his friends to 78th street because they wanted to tag rival gang territory… and he didn’t hide his identity or the fact that he used his dad’s car and had he known a shooting was going to occur, he would have acted differently.”

Blacknell also added, “The circumstantial evidence is not there, how can they prove what he knew or what he thought?” Blacknell said that his client was merely “…Reacting to something he didn’t expect,” and that all he saw was his friends running towards him and thought they were in trouble.

Prosecutors showed text messages from Terrell and other gang members showing Terrell’s loyalty to the gang, including messages sent on dates after the shooting took place and after his arrest. Deputy District Attorney Adan Montalban showed jurors body camera footage from the scene after Holmes was shot, while a rap song Terrell allegedly recorded after he was released on bail played in the background that said he was a “menace to society.”

Motalban ended up with a final quote, “The defendant didn’t care about this person. Now he’s rejoicing by making a rap song. He writes it all out for you. He thinks this is some type of game, it isn’t. This is real.” Jurors still not had reached a verdict after deliberating for some time.

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  • California DUI Lawyers Association
  • National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers | NACDL 1958
  • CACJ
  • LACBA | Los Angeles Country Bar Association
  • SBBA | South Bay Bar Association
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