An armed robber fatally shot a Northern California gasoline station clerk however will not be charged with homicide — presumably as a result of the gunman might declare self-defense, police mentioned Wednesday.
Ronald Jackson Jr., 20, was initially booked into custody on suspicion of armed theft and murder in connection to the slaying of James Williams, 36, early Saturday at a Chevron in Antioch, police mentioned.
Jackson and one other man, who was nonetheless being sought on Thursday, had been fleeing the theft when Williams chased and opened hearth on the suspects, police mentioned. Jackson was struck within the leg and returned hearth, killing Williams, police mentioned.
Antioch detectives submitted their findings to the Contra Costa County District Legal professional’s Workplace and prosecutors “elected to cost Jackson with theft, possession of stolen property, and a firearm enhancement, however declined to cost him with homicide,” in response to a police assertion.
A DA consultant on Thursday confirmed that Jackson was charged with alleged second-degree theft, a particular allegation of utilizing a firearm in that crime and receiving stolen property price greater than $950 — crimes that might land him behind bars for so long as 15 years — however no murder.
The DA’s workplace on Thursday didn’t instantly clarify its rationale towards charging Jackson with homicide.
The choice to not pursue a murder case surprised girlfriend and co-worker Annette Matamoroz, who was on the retailer when Williams was shot.
“I completely disagree with this,” a tearful Matamoroz instructed NBC Information. “It’s homicide. It doesn’t look like homicide, it’s homicide. What else might it’s?”
Since Jackson has wounded by Williams outdoors the Chevron, a authorized professional says the suspect might’ve argued he was leaving the scene and had a authorized proper to guard himself.
“Self-defense is a temporal idea. So in different phrases, had this occasion occurred throughout the retailer that might have been one factor,” San Jose prison protection lawyer and NBC Bay Space authorized analyst Steven Clark mentioned.
“However when the man ran away, the idea of the clerk being moderately afraid, that modified significantly. Now you will have a severe felony, what the robber did, however you don’t get to execute the man below these circumstances. So the robber then obtained the correct to self-defense.”
Matamoroz believes that Williams would nonetheless be alive right this moment with out Jackson and his confederate coming into the Chevron.
“None of this may have occurred had they not come to the shop. They got here with these intentions (to commit against the law). They did not come right here simply to buy groceries,” she mentioned.
Whereas agreeing with Contra Costa County DA Diana Becton’s determination to not search a homicide prosecution, Clark faulted her for failing to rapidly and forcefully clarify the rationale to an understandably involved and confused public.
“There is a common doctrine that if you end up the initiator of the issue, just like the robber was, your self-defense rights are lessened than in case you are the sufferer, just like the clerk,” Clark mentioned.
“There’s going to be potential for criticism right here. ‘Why are we bending over backward to not cost an armed robber with the homicide of an harmless retailer clerk who’s defending his premises?’ That appears to face the regulation on its head, that appears to face logic on its head. The DA must fastidiously articulate to the general public why this determination was made.”
Matamoroz labored on the similar Chevron however wan’t on the clock when she was protecting Williams firm earlier than his demise. Matamoroz was within the toilet when Williams instructed her to remain put.
“He had instructed me, ‘They’re making an attempt to rob this place, simply say right here, simply keep right here within the toilet,'” Matamoroz mentioned.
“He was a loving, caring, real man. You don’t come throughout too many individuals like that in life. He truly genuinely cared. He cared about folks he didn’t even know. He wished to assist everyone, he wished everyone to be all proper on a regular basis. If he might make it higher, that is what he would do.”
Matamoroz then broke down in tears and her voice trailed off: “That’s why I would like him right here as a result of he could be making this higher and I wouldn’t be feeling like this.”