A state appeals court panel Wednesday upheld the murder conviction of a hit-and-run driver who led police on a high-speed pursuit in a stolen car, resulting in the decapitation of a 15-year-old boy in the Palms area of Los Angeles.
Paul Randolf Brumfield Jr., now 52, was convicted in March 2017 of one count each of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run driving resulting in death and driving or taking a vehicle without consent.
Brumfield -- who was behind the wheel of a stolen Buick LeSabre -- led Los Angeles police on a chase that reached speeds of up to 90 mph, running over Jack Phoenix as the teen crossed the street at Venice Boulevard and Hughes Avenue on Nov. 15, 2015.
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Brumfield was arrested the day after the crash for an unrelated car burglary.
The stolen car was located four days later with the victim's head inside, covered by a comforter, according to testimony during Brumfield's trial.
Brumfield was sentenced in April 2017 to 27 years and eight months to life in state prison. But the three-justice panel from California's 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in its 56-page opinion that three one-year enhancements imposed against Brumfield should be stricken and that the case should be sent back to the trial court to allow Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark E. Windham to determine whether to exercise his discretion to strike an additional five-year enhancement on the murder charge.