A jury hearing his burglary case was divided 8-4 in support of guilt, prosecutors said. But the mistake was a checked box “not guilty” on the court form, an accident the judge decided could not be changed.
In less than one hour after letting him walk, Pearson was dead. Police said he was stabbed to death by his sister’s boyfriend at her house where he went to retrieve his belongings.Officers detained the boyfriend, 35-year-old Willie Gray, of Fresno, on suspicion of murder Thursday.
“Weird stuff, huh?” says police Sgt. Jaime Rios. “That he’s released and while he’s free, he’s killed. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of it.”
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Pearson had 11 previous criminal convictions and was a member of a local street gang
Pearson’s rap sheet goes back more than a decade, with convictions on multiple weapons charges and arrests for battery, resisting a peace officer and injuring a co-inhabitant, court records show.
“The question that comes about in an incident like this is, ‘If Bobby Pearson would not have been released, would this murder have occurred?'” the chief told reporters. “And the obvious answer is, ‘No, he would have been in jail.’
“But we know when you are an individual like Bobby Pearson who is involved in a criminal lifestyle involving gangs, there is always a potential for him to become the victim of violent crime. Freed Killed