Convicted killer Bessman Okafor was escorted out of a hearing at the Orange County Courthouse after an outburst involving him and his victim's father.
Tensions flared after Rafael Zaldivar finished testifying about his son 19-year-old Alex Zaldivar.
Zaldivar couldn’t contain his emotions or anger toward his son’s killer. As he walked away from the witness stand, he pointed at Okafor and said, “You’re dead.”
Okafor didn’t take that sitting down. He jumped up and started yelling, swearing and threatening the father of his victim, wanting to fight.
Court officers escorted Okafor out of the courtroom.
Rafael Zaldivar has been present at every hearing and trial for over three years, re-living the last moments of his son’s life.
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A jury found Bessman Okafor guilty of shooting 19-year-old Alex Zaldivar, murdering him execution style to prevent him from testifying against him in a home invasion trial.
The jury also found him guilty of attempting to murder Zaldivar’s two roommates, Brienna and Remington Campos. Both survived gunshot wounds to their heads.
They testified again Friday to ask that the judge sentence Okafor to death.
“If there truly is equal justice under the law then justice for Alex should be equalized with a life for a life," Brienna Campos said.
After Okafor’s outburst, the judge allowed him to be absent from the rest of the Spencer Hearing. His attorneys made their last attempt to influence the judge’s decision before sentencing.
Rafael Zaldivar said he doesn't regret the courtroom confrontation that could have led to another delay in sentencing.
"It was all building up," he said. "I couldn't take it."
The judge will have a little more than a month to weigh the attorneys' arguments, witness testimonies and jury’s recommendation before deciding whether Okafor should receive the death penalty or continue serving his life sentences.
His sentencing date is Nov. 17.