Local News

Guevara Sentenced to Death for Killing Deputy

Posted June 19, 1996 7:00 a.m. EDT

— June 20, 1996, 4:05 p.m. EDT

Angel Guevara (pictured at left) received the death penalty Thursday afternoon. His jury deliberated for only 90 minutes before coming to their decision. Below are (from left) Prosecutor Tom Lock, Guevara's mother Marina Guevara, Ronald Medlin, a Johnston County deputy who witnessed Guevara's crime, and Tevnan West, widow of the deputy who was slain by Guevara.

Angel Guevara was sentenced to die Thursday for killing a Johnston County deputy last September.

A jury of 12 Nash County residents deliberated less than two hours before returning the death sentence Thursday afternoon, two days after finding Guevara guilty of the first-degree murder of Johnston County Deputy Paul West. Guevara also was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious bodily injury, for shooting West's supervisor, Lt. Ronald Medlin.

"Just hearing the verdict takes the weight of the world off my shoulders," said Tevnan West, the slain deputy's widow.

"I'm relieved with the verdict, however he still has one over on us," West said, noting the Guevara will have plenty of time to be with his relatives before his sentence -- if upheld by the courts -- is carried out. Appeals in death penalty cases are automatic.

Character witnesses took the stand Wednesday to plead with the jury to spare Guevara from the death penalty. Among them was Guevara's mother (pictured, right).

During his trial, Guevara admitted shooting West, but testified he did so to defend his girlfriend's son from the officer. Medlin testified that he was able to see the entire episode from outside Guevara's mobile home and that West had no gun in his hand and had his right hand up in the air, pleading "No, no."

The deputies had been dispatched to Guevara's mobile home on a routine request to verify identification.

After the shooting, Guevara ran to New York, where he was ultimately arrested as he talked on a pay phone in Penn Station.

A Nash County jury is hearing the case in Smithfield. A judge denied a defense request to move the trial to another county, but he agreed to let a jury from another county hear the case