AUBURN, WASHINGTON — Jurors have determined that an Auburn man was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed a man in a park in 2020, The Seattle Times reports.
In fact, they determined that his actions were a little more than that.
David Villalobos-Denning shot and killed Hiram Figueroa, 49, in June 2020 after a confrontation involving Figueroa’s daughter and another woman.
At the time, Villalobos-Denning was arrested for second-degree murder and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He has a past felony conviction barring him from legally possessing firearms.
Villalobos-Denning has now been released after spending almost 2.5 years in jail.
Not only did he act in a manner where prosecutors were unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he didn’t act in self-defense, but jurors determined that his actions were “lawful,” which is “fairly rare.”
“From the first time we talked, his story was always identical,” defense attorney David Montes said. Montes reportedly defended Villalobos-Denning along with attorney Thomas Smith.
Interestingly enough, Villalobos-Denning made an offer to plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter in February, but was ignored.
Montes openly wondered why prosecutors decided to drag the case to trial with a plea offer in hand and a preponderance of backlogged cases from COVID-19 shutdowns, and it’s hard not to empathize with his confusion.
“From my perspective, I don’t think they took a careful look at what we were saying, which pointed out a lot of contradictory evidence” provided by members of Figueroa’s family, Montes said according to the Times.
“I just don’t think the prosecutor ever — including at trial — really vetted their case to see what they could actually prove.”
That’s fair. Why would one vet a case where someone’s life and freedom are on the line?
Do you think that Villalobos-Denning is glad prosecutors didn’t accept his plea offer? Share this out on Facebook adn Twitter and let us know!
Read full article here