'Alpha Dog' Prosecutor Can Stay On Case

The Supreme Court is allowing a prosecutor who helped in the making of the movie "Alpha Dog" to remain on the death penalty case on which the film is based.

The justices, in an order Monday, denied an appeal from Jesse James Hollywood, who prosecutors say masterminded a plot to kidnap and murder 15-year-old Nicholas Markowitz. He was killed in 2000 because his older half brother owed Hollywood money, prosecutors say.

A California appeals court had removed Santa Barbara County Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen from the case after he turned over probation reports, police files and other sensitive materials to director Nick Cassavetes. "Alpha Dog," a fictionalized account of the killing of a Southern California teen starring Bruce Willis, Sharon Stone and Justin Timberlake, was released last year.

Zonen said in court documents that he helped Cassavetes with "Alpha Dog" to help publicize the hunt for Hollywood , who was captured in 2005 in Brazil after spending nearly five years on the lam.

The state Supreme Court said Zonen could participate.

The case is Hollywood v. California , 08-181.