NORWALK – A convicted cop killer laughed Tuesday after hearing a jury’s ruling that he be put to death. Jose Luis Orozco showed almost no emotion throughout the three-week trial in which he was convicted for the 2005 murder of Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Ortiz of Diamond Bar. A rare exception for the 29-year-old Hawaiian Gardens gang member was an occasional smile for his mother when he turned in his chair to glance back at her from time to time. He will be sentenced May 3. They were accompanied by dozens of sheriff’s deputies and other family friends, including the family’s priest. “I think, for all of us, it was kind of reliving the nightmare all over,” Chela Ortiz said. Family members listed to testimony that included the defendant’s violent past and the many times he escaped prosecution by using his gang’s influence and power to intimidate victims. Orozco’s friends and fellow gang members also recalled his boasting about killing a police officer one day. “I just say thank God it is over,” Rosa Ortiz said. “It was too much some days. … To me it was too hard.” It took the jury of six men and six women a little more than four hours, spread over two days, to choose death over life in prison without the possibility of parole. It was almost the same amount of time used to come to the guilty verdict March 20. According to three jurors who spoke briefly outside the courtroom, the decision was a difficult one made slightly easier by the thorough job of the prosecutors and investigators. Equally as damning, jurors said, was the complete lack of remorse shown by the defendant. It looked to them as though he preferred the life of a criminal and reveled in the notoriety he earned in the deputy’s death. Ortiz was assigned to track Orozco down the day before his June 24, 2005, killing. That task stemmed from the June 20, 2005, shooting of an African- American man who – according to prosecutors – Orozco tried to kill simply because of his race. The 15-year police veteran, who learned the day before that he had made the rank of detective, was patrolling in Hawaiian Gardens when he spotted Orozco and tried to stop him. The gang member took off running with Ortiz behind him, according to court testimony. Ortiz followed Orozco to an apartment complex on East 223rd Street, to the home of one of Orozco’s friends whom the deputy knew from previous altercations. What Ortiz didn’t know was that Orozco was lurking behind the woman’s front door. As Ortiz spoke to her and reholstered his weapon, Orozco steadied his hand while two of the woman’s children – girls ages 6 and 8 – and several of her friends looked on. He fired one shot from his .38-caliber revolver, with the slug passing through a crack in the door and hitting the deputy in the side of the head. The 35-year-old father to two boys died almost immediately. Stan Perlo, one of two court-appointed defense attorneys, said the defendant’s lack of support by his family dealt a massive blow to their case. Originally, Orozco’s mother was to take the stand to tell her son’s story and talk about the many problems he faced growing up, Perlo said. But she became nervous, telling her son the night before she was to testify that she did not want to go through with it, Perlo said. Perlo and his co-counsel, Robin Yanes, had approached Orozco’s case from a somewhat unorthodox position. Rather than argue their client’s innocence, they repeatedly referred to their client as the gunman in the presence of the jury and focused on a number of other people they claimed were equally responsible in the crime. “We made a lot of decisions that some lawyers would disagree with,” Perlo said. “I would add, personally, a lot of lawyers with a lot less experience.” When Orozco returns to court May 3, Perlo and Yanes will argue for a mistrial and, if that is rejected, will ask Judge Philip Hickok to modify the jury’s verdict and consider life without parole. The chance either argument will be successful is slight, Perlo said. But that then sets into motion the automatic appeals process, something that will be handled by a different set of attorneys. At the very least, Perlo estimated the appeals process will last five years. It could run into 20 years because there are both state and federal requirements that must be met, he added. “The decision today made the family happy, but unfortunately it’s a false happiness,” Perlo said after court Tuesday. “The death penalty rarely offers … closure.” The Ortiz family, however, disagreed. “I’m kind of relieved that it’s over,” said 17-year-old Jeremy Ortiz, one of the deputy’s sons from a previous marriage. “I’m happy with the verdict, we just have to wait it out now.” [email protected] (562) 499-1261 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! When the jury convicted him last month of the deputy’s slaying, as well as the attempted murder of another man just a few days prior to the ambush killing of Ortiz, Orozco sat staring straight ahead, unflinching. As Court Clerk Dan Fallon read the jury’s sentence shortly before noon Tuesday, several members of the slain lawman’s family gasped, clutching one another’s hands. At the same time, a small smile spread across Orozco’s face and he chuckled. “We understand and we appreciate the gravity of the decision that the jury had to make … and that it took a lot for them to \,” Chela Ortiz, the deputy’s wife, said afterward. The widow – who was married three weeks before her husband was killed – sat with her mother-in-law, Rosa Ortiz, and the rest of the family every day of the trial.