Madera D.A. not seeking death penalty in Gran murder trial

February 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Prosecutors have decided not to pursue the death penalty for the 20-year-old Madera man charged in the murder of a teenage girl. Investigators say 18-year-old Krista Pike found herself in the middle of a deadly love triangle. Dustin Gran showed no emotion as the district attorney announced he won't be seeking the death penalty. Just feet away from Gran, Russ Pike wore a button with his daughter's picture on it. Pike said, "It hurts to have to be in this position. I wish this upon no one ... on this earth."

The body of 18-year-old Krista Pike was found last year beaten at a Madera home. Detectives say Gran committed the murder. But his girlfriend, 16-year-old Brittany Navarra is accused of being the mastermind. Police said Navarra once dated Krista's fiancé and wanted them separated. The victim's father supports the decision not to ask for the ultimate punishment. Pike said, "There's nothing that can change the fact ?the loss of our daughter. To hurt another family, taking with taking a life of their child ... In our opinion is not right."

If Gran is convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. Navarra is being tried as an adult in a separate case. District Attorney Michael Keitz declined to discuss specifics. Keitz said, "We entered into our decision after a fair deliberation of the circumstances of the case within our office."

Gran's defense attorney declined to comment, but he plead not guilty to the charges.

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