Jury: NY Store owner justified

Dan Blasdel, Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel listens as Walla Walla County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gabe Acosta questions potential jurors during the opening this morning of a coroner's inquest into the shooting death of Cesar Chavira.

Dan Blasdel, Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel listens as Walla Walla County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gabe Acosta questions potential jurors during the opening this morning of a coroner's inquest into the shooting death of Cesar Chavira. Photo by Andy Porter.

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— A coroner’s inquest jury has found John Saul committed a justifiable homicide when he shot Cesar Chavira to death in early May.

The jury had been deadlocked after deliberating for about an hour Thursday afternoon but concluded its work this morning.

The jury had been tasked with determining if Saul was justified when he fired five rounds from a 12-gauge shotgun, killing Chavira outside Saul’s business, the New York Store on Isaacs Avenue.

Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Gary Bolster, the lead investigator in the case, gave expert testimony Thursday on shotgun ballistics and the distances the weapon had been fired, striking Chavira.

“I see the first pellets probably striking at a distance of probably 120 feet,” Bolster said, adding later pellets likely were fired from roughly 155 feet, over 50 yards.

Forensic Pathologist Dr. Daniel Selove, who testified late Thurday morning, explained as many as 49, .24 caliber shotgun pellets had struck Chavira primarily from the rear, injuring both lungs and his aorta, causing rapid internal bleeding.

Testimony from Walla Walla Police Officers Wednesday indicated Saul, who had been sleeping in the rear of the New York Store, woke up when Chavira broke into the western wear store and stole several belts and silver belt buckles from a display case at the front of the store.

Saul, who did not testify during the inquest, told police shortly after the shooting that Chavira threatened him, and Saul defended himself. Bolster testified that Saul fired the five shotgun rounds from the front door of the store.

For further coverage, pick up Sunday’s U-B or go to union-bulletin.com.

Comments

oneStarman 2 years, 2 months ago

WALLA WALLA - The Town so Nice you can Get away with Murder if you have Money and you are White.

Washington Law RCW 9A.16.050 Homicide — When justifiable. (1) In the lawful Defense of the Slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his or her presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal Injury to the Slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or (2) In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his or her presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he or she is.

Stopping someone fleeing with your Stolen Belt Buckles is NOT on the List.

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archer 2 years, 2 months ago

money and race has nothing to do with it its the difference between right ant wrong it could have anybody face with the decision to protect them selves these thugs need to know there actions will not be tolerated

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hometowner 2 years, 2 months ago

I think the verdict was right and was based on the facts and the law, not on what oneStarman said, because the statute says, "When justifiable . . . when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony . . . and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished" and "in the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony . . . in his presence." The felony was in the process of being accomplished in the store owner's presence. The circumstances exactly fit the statute.

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Chas 2 years, 2 months ago

Why the Coroner Jury was needed. Quote all the legalism you desire. Law, nor life, is based on absolutes of ink on paper.

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bluedevilcfmy 2 years, 2 months ago

Omg!! For those people wanting to play the racecard you won't like what I have to say...it has nothing to do with money or skin color. If the dumbass punk wasn't a criminal he might be alive. Guess what? I don't care if your white brown pink or have stripes- I will shoot you dead, then shoot you some more if you break into my house. I will shoot you in the back if I have to.. I just do not want you doing it to anyone else. Get a grip & get over it. Teach your kids to respect people/property.

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Bigdog 2 years, 2 months ago

punks, anyway all of them.........

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mytwocents 2 years, 2 months ago

Cesar looked pretty white to me... Is the race card being played because of his name?.. C'mon people this is sooooo not about race.. It's about one dumb kid who decided to go steal from someone.,and about the man who had a justified right to protect his property.Sad that Cesar lost his life,and sad that this will haunt Saul for a long time.,but it is what it is and it cannot be changed. So let's all put on our big people pants and go on with our day.

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archer 2 years, 2 months ago

The race card is nothing but a cop out to the reality of this situation Saul is still the victim here the bottom line is his life and lively hood was threatened this is not a situation he chose to be in only reacted to
so those whom think that he is wrong for protecting himself remember it could have been your home and you at risk of harm Its time these thugs plaguing your community learn there actions will not be tolerated

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Bluegirl 2 years, 2 months ago

This whole episode is a tragedy. My heart aches for his family. Neither they nor Mr. Saul will never be the same. No one is "getting away with" anything. Mr. Chavira obviously had a problem with the concept of "mine & thine". His only purpose for being on that property that night was to commit a felony - to take what was not his.
Race Card???? How about a Wrong Card - Wrong Reason! - Wrong Time! - Wrong Place!

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