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Inmate convicted in fatal drive-by dies on death row [Updated]

An inmate convicted in a 1996 drive-by shooting that killed two men has died while on death row in San Quentin State Prison, state corrections officials said Tuesday.

John Levae Post, 42, was pronounced dead Monday afternoon after being found unresponsive in his cell, according to a statement issued by the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The cause of death is under investigation.

[Updated 5 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said the inmate was found dead in his cell. In fact, Post was discovered unresponsive in his cell at 2:20 p.m. Monday and pronounced dead 30 minutes later.]

Post was sentenced to death in 2001 for first-degree murder in the slayings of Aaron Johnson, 17, and Larry Logan, 23, of Los Angeles.

Authorities said Post and another young man  pulled up alongside a car that had stalled near the Santa Monica Freeway and Crenshaw Boulevard in the early morning hours of Sept. 22, 1996, and opened fire, killing two of three men in the vehicle.

Johnson's 1984 Toyota Tercel apparently stalled on 10th Avenue, between West 25th Street and Adams Boulevard. While Johnson tried to restart the engine, two young men in a white Honda sedan stopped behind the vehicle, then pulled alongside it and uttered a gang challenge to Johnson and his friends.

Without waiting for a response, one of the men fired two shots into Johnson's car before speeding off. Although wounded, Johnson was able to restart the car, which went about 300 feet before crashing into a lamp post and a retaining wall.

Johnson and Logan, who was seated in the front-passenger's seat, were pronounced dead at the scene. A 26-year-old man in the backseat was unharmed.

Since capital punishment was reinstated in California, 52 condemned inmates have died from natural causes; 18 have committed suicide; 13 were executed in California; one was executed in Missouri; five have died from other causes; and one cause of death is unknown, corrections officials said.

As of Dec. 21, 2010, there were 717 offenders on California’s death row, authorities said.

-- Andrew Blankstein

 
Comments () | Archives (10)

716 left to go...

I remember that shooting. Assuming Post died of natural causes, it was far more merciful than he deserved.

That is the only way they will die on death row in Calif.

Whether J.T. Post, convicted of a 1996 drive-by shooting murder, and others who died without actually being executed in San Quentin's death row, one things is both certain and just. They didn't die as free men. Dealing with all of the harshness, violence, brutality and oppression by prison guards was a final punishment for people who victimized the innocent. The death row inmates who died before facing their execution payed for their crimes.

See Virginia there is a Santa Claus!

Come on California! Pick up the pace!

LARRY WAS MY ONE AND ONLY CHILD. THIS MAN CAUSED SO MUCH HURT AND PAIN. A FEW MONTHS AGO I WAS TOLD HE GETS AN AUTOMATIC APPEAL SOON, AND ONCE AGAIN I BROKE DOWN THINKING OF RE-LIVING THE HORRIBLE TRIAL. I GIVE GOD THE GLORY THAT IT'S NOT TO BE! REST IN PEACE MY CHILD, AND KNOW THAT SINCE SEPTEMBER 22ND 1996 NOT A DAY HAS GONE BY THAT I DON'T THINK OF YOU. WHAT A DAY IT'S GOING TO BE WHEN WE ALL GET TO HEAVEN REBECCA

THANK YOU, MR. BLANKSTEIN !

Rebecca you speak of GOD, doesnt he speaks of forgiveness? I know that it was a lost that was hard for you just as I know it was hard for my family when my uncle went to prison for life..... Forgive those who does you wrong..... I dont believe all the Heaven and Hell and stuff..... But if there is a place for the good and the bad I know that your son will see my uncle again.... And it wont be in no kingdom.... Your son was a great little kid not out there robbing people shooting at others? Because if you look him up we have him on gang file? Doing wrong.... let them both rest in there graves..... I love my uncle and I love your son and I dont know him but because of your son he have change my life.... I am not a gang-member when that was the way I was going but because of what happen to my uncle and what happen to your son. I am choosing a different life and I have you to thank... I am happy that I am able to say something because I have been wanting to something to the family that fail victims as to what happen..... But I hate to say it but my uncle didnt kill your son.... He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time....

who was john post codefendant i think i remeber this case


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