Two Teens Ordered to Stand Trial in Officer's Shooting Death

VISTA, Calif. (AP) - Two teenagers have been ordered to stand trial on murder charges in the fatal shooting death of an Oceanside police officer during a routine traffic stop.

Prosecutors say the teens, a 19-year-old and a 17-year-old who will be tried as an adult, have links to Samoan gangs based in the northern San Diego County suburbs.

Both have pleaded not guilty to a single murder charge and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

A Superior Court judge dropped all charges Tuesday against a third boy.

Officer Dan Bessant was just 25 when he was shot and killed in December 2006. Bessant had stopped to help another officer with a
traffic stop when a bullet fired from a nearby house struck him.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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