Closing statements are scheduled today in the penalty phase of trial in the case of a parolee who bludgeoned and fatally shot a Riverside police officer.
Earl Ellis Green, 46, faces either life in prison without the possibility of parole or death for the November 2010 execution-style murder of 27-year-old Ryan Patrick Bonaminio. Green was convicted on May 11. The penalty phase of his trial began May 21.
The prosecution rested its case on May 24, and the defense spent all of last week calling witnesses, including a psychologist who diagnosed Green as having a mental disorder.
Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Mike Hestrin described Bonaminio’s murder as a “callous, cold-blooded execution.”
On the night of Nov. 7, 2010, Green stole a semi truck with no trailer from a Rubidoux facility and got into fender-bender with a motorist on Market Street, near the Pomona (60) Freeway.
The ex-con with a two-decade-long rap sheet fled the accident scene, prompting the other driver to call police, at which point Bonaminio responded to the area and stopped Green adjacent to Fairmount Park.
The defendant jumped out of the truck, ran through the park and into the parking lot of the nearby Center for Spiritual Living on Ridge Road. As Bonaminio caught up with the defendant, the officer lost his footing in a freshly watered planter and fell in the mud.
An eyewitness to the shooting testified that Green immediately pounced on the lawman, smashing him in the head three times with a steel pipe. The defendant then grabbed the severely injured officer’s .40-caliber Glock pistol, racked a bullet in the chamber and took aim.
According to testimony, Bonaminio struggled to his feet, put his hands in front of his face and shouted at Green, “Don’t do it!”
Hestrin said the defendant fired two rounds, both of which missed, then
approached to within two feet of Bonamini and — after a five-second pause —
fired a third and fatal shot into the officer’s head.