Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Home & Living
  3. Lifestyle

Man found not guilty by mistake killed hours after release

See also

A man in a California burglary case walked out of the courtroom a free man only to be killed hours later. The jury mistakenly signed a not-guilty verdict form. The shocked judge stated that the not-guilty verdict had been put on record so he had no choice but to release the defendant.

Jurors told the judge after the mistake was made and it was too late to correct that they had actually been hung on the charges against Bobby Lee Pearson. In the case of the hung jury, the prosecutors would have had to option to retry him.

Superior Court Judge W. Kent Hamlin said after he ordered Pearson free, “I can’t believe it.” Just a few hours later, Pearson was stabbed to death after he went home to get some of his clothing and belongings. Fresno police Sgt. James Rios stated that it seems that Pearson got into an argument with his sister’s boyfriend who was the one who stabbed him. The boyfriend’s name has not yet been released.

Hamlin stated that double jeopardy was already attached so he would be unable to change the verdict. “This has never happened to me in more than 100 jury trials that I have done.”

Pearson along with two additional co-defendants had been accused of burglarizing an apartment last year. They allegedly stole a video system and a gun. The homeowner is said to have caught the intruders and wrestled with one of them.

Pearson’s co-defendant, Terrel Minniweather received a guilty verdict from the jury in his trial. Linden Lindahl, an attorney for Minniweather stated that the mistake in the verdict wasn’t discovered until lunch time. Lindahl stated a juror told a member of the court staff that he had voted on a guilty verdict for Pearson.

Jurors reported that they were extremely confused by the forms. They had a form to return a guilty verdict and one for a not-guilty verdict. However, in the case of a deadlocked jury, there was no form for them to sign.

Lindahl commented that the jury’s confusion surprised him because the judge “did everything by the book.”

©Kelly Cozzone, All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior permissions from the author. The first two sentences may be reposted with a link back to the original article.

Advertisement

Life

  • Derek Hough
    Derek Hough brings quadruple threat talent to 'DWTS' and beyond
    Today's Buzz
  • Hookah smoking
    Young adults believe hookah smoking pose no health threat
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Top outdoor activities
    Don't spend your summer indoors: Top outdoor activities to do with your significant other
    Camera
    10 Photos
  • Baby shower idea for men
    A new twist on baby showers is throwing a Daddy Baby-Q
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Wedding special
    'Curvy Brides' offers a new look into every bride's pursuit for her picture perfect wedding gown
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Morbid obesity
    Health: Morbid obesity decreases life span by up to 16 years
    Camera
    7 Photos