A Florida man was convicted Wednesday of shooting his girlfriend in the head in cold blood after they argued and he allegedly made her wear a mask to cover up the gun he used to kill her.
The trial began in the Orlando County courtroom and was interrupted by a barrage of protests, including the cry of “Shoot the police!” and “No justice, no peace.”
In a sentencing memorandum, Assistant State Attorney Joseph Tappano argued that James W. Kowalski, 25, was “motivated to shoot his girlfriend because she had covered up a firearm.”
Kowalksi told police after the shooting that he shot his girlfriend to “get attention” for the mask he had bought for the purpose of covering up his gun.
“The gun was loaded and the mask was not,” Tappanoes said.
The judge imposed a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a standard term for a first-degree murder conviction.
Tappenoes also recommended that Kowaldski receive credit for time already served.
He will be eligible for parole in 2027.
He was arrested in January 2017 and is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.
A Florida judge previously sentenced Kowalinksi to 15 years in jail for killing a woman in January 2016 and wounding her husband in August 2015.
Kellyanne Latham, 26, was found shot to death at a home in Ocala, Fla., after a long argument with her boyfriend, John W. Pascrell, who also was in the home.
The pair had been dating for six months when Pascll, a construction worker, arrived at the home to help with renovations.
Pescrell, 22, told police he fired his weapon after Kowallksi got into a fight with his girlfriend and he had a gun.
He said Kowalfski came to the door with a knife and began to “play games” with him before the fight started.
The gun used to shoot Latham was recovered from a crime scene.
A judge sentenced Pascilli to death and Kowaloksi was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
He is eligible for release in 2023.
A trial court sentenced Pescilli to life for the murders and sentenced Kawallksis life for murder in December 2015.
A jury convicted Pascili and Kawaloksis two others of the murder and found them guilty of first- and second-degree aggravated murder.
The three were each sentenced to 40 years in state prison, but they were acquitted of the crimes against Latham.
A verdict was returned in January 2018 in the case of a man found shot and killed outside a strip mall in Orlando in August 2017.
The man, who was not identified by authorities, had been in a relationship with a woman and had been planning to have a child with her.
Authorities said they believe the shooting was not random.