Convicted Cop Killer Gets Death Penalty

Convicted Cop Killer Gets Death Penalty
Mai Says He Believes In ‘An Eye For An Eye’

SANTA ANA, Calif., Updated 3:27 p.m. PDT June 23, 2000 — A convicted cop killer who urged jurors to give him the death penalty was granted his wish in court Friday.

The superior court judge called Hung Mai a “cold-hearted animal” and a “coward” before sentencing him to death.

Mai, considered one of the most dangerous prisoners to have passed through the Orange County criminal justice system, will be sent to a super-maximum-security federal prison in Colorado, CBS 2 News reported.

The Asian gang leader was found guilty of murdering California Highway Patrol officer Don Burt during a traffic stop in 1996.

Mai fired five bullets into Burt’s body and one bullet point-blank into Burt’s head, according to authorities.

While in custody on the murder charge, Mai attempted to have a district attorney killed and ran an illegal gun-trafficking operation.

He also paid $30,000 to have the witness in the CHP case killed and told the hitman, “If you can’t find the witness, kill his whole damn family,” CBS 2 News reported.

During Friday’s penalty hearing, members of Burt’s family gave emotional testimony about the loss of the 25-year-old CHP officer.

Don Burt and his wife

“At the time of his death, Donny was the happiest he’d ever been,” Burt’s father, retired CHP Sgt. Don Burt, told the courtroom. “He had a great wife and had established himself in his career, and was awaiting the birth of his son. Donny had everything to live for on July 13, 1996, when he stopped Mr. Mai for no lights.”

The victim’s father said that Mai “has chosen to break society’s rules with violence over and over again,” and that he believes that “the death penalty is the only way to protect society from these parasites.”

Mai had already said that he believed that he should be put to death for the killing.

“I believe in an eye for an eye. I believe in two eyes for an eye. If you take down one of my fellows, I’d do everything to take down two of yours, just to get even,” Mai told jurors two months ago.

The defiant prisoner, who has told the slain’s officer’s father, “I’d do it again,” has been locked up under extraordinary measures since his arrest.

Instead of going to San Quentin, where all of California’s death row inmates reside, Mai will be sent to a federal penitentiary in Florence, Colo., where notorious prisoners such as the Unabomber and Terry McVeigh are locked up, CBS 2 News reported.

A judge also ordered that Mai be locked in a constantly lighted cell with a guard watching him at all times.

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