Death penalty sought in Bay toll plaza killings

AP News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2012 6:08 PM
Death penalty sought in Bay toll plaza killings

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a man charged with killing his ex-girlfriend with a shotgun blast as she worked in a toll booth at a San Francisco Bay-area bridge.

Nathaniel Burris of Richmond also is accused of killing a friend of the woman in a nearby parking lot.

Contra Costa County prosecutors announced their decision Wednesday against the 48-year-old Burris.

Burris is accused of killing Deborah Ross while she worked in a booth at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza in August 2009. The other alleged victim was Ross' friend Ersie Everette III, a bus driver for Golden Gate Transit.

Prosecutor Harold Jewett cited the cold-blooded nature of the crimes for the death penalty decision. It would be the first time Contra Costa County has sought the death penalty in six years.

Burris is scheduled to go to trial in September.