Wanted Calaveras parolee walks away from Modesto hospital

etracy@modbee.comOctober 31, 2012 

— A Murphys man wanted for a parole violation was found by police after he was shot in the stomach and taken to a Modesto hospital. But he walked away from that hospital last week and is again at-large.

Calaveras County sheriff's deputies found Jimmy Blake Terry, 25, after he was shot by his uncle, Robert Terry, 36, on Oct. 14.

Jimmy Terry was flown to a Modesto hospital and walked away a week later, shortly after a telephone interview with Calaveras County detectives.

On the day of the shooting, Robert Terry told deputies he loaded a shotgun with rock salt and what appeared to be bits of metal and thumb tacks in order to protect himself against his nephew, but not kill him, according to sheriff's Sgt. Chris Hewitt.

Robert Terry told deputies he has been fighting for weeks with Jimmy Terry, who thought his uncle was going to implicate him in a recent rash of burglaries in Murphys. Hewitt said Jimmy Terry is a "person of interest" in those burglaries.

When Jimmy Terry threatened and aggressively ran toward Robert Terry on Oct. 14, the older man responded by shooting his nephew with the rock salt.

Jimmy Terry left the scene in a car driven by his girlfriend. Angels Camp police spotted them. After a short pursuit, police found Jimmy Terry and his girlfriend hiding in Douglass Flat.

Jimmy Terry was flown to a Modesto hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery.

Robert Terry was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, but later released when the district attorney determined the shooting was in self-defense and declined to file charges.

Arrest, hospital bill avoided

Detectives investigating the shooting wondered why the apparent victim would run from police. They learned Jimmy Terry was wanted by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for a parole violation.

Hewitt said the Calaveras County sheriff's office did not arrest Jimmy Terry when they learned about the warrant because if it had, the county would have become liable for the hospital bill. Instead, they notified the corrections department, Hewitt said.

But before his parole agent could get to him, Jimmy Terry had walked away from the Modesto hospital after telling an employee he was going outside to smoke a cigarette.

What Terry was on parole for and what he did to violate that parole was not immediately available, but CDCR spokesman Luis Patino said in an e-mail that the department "is deeply concerned about the status of this parolee."

"Our first priority is to apprehend the suspect. There is currently a CDCR warrant out for parolee Jimmy Terry's arrest. We will work with our partners in Calaveras County to resolve this public safety matter as quickly as possible and help ensure that situations like this one do not reoccur."

Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at etracy@modbee.com or (209) 578-2366.

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