A prosecutor on Tuesday told a jury that Robin Duane Boyer did not want Brandon Pacheco to evade capture again. He argued that Boyer didn’t want Pacheco to return to his Turlock home and steal again, so he shot Pacheco in the back from 20 yards away.
“He took this shotgun and blew him away,” said Deputy District Attorney John R. Mayne holding the weapon Boyer fired that morning in July 2013. “He’s taking off. He’s leaving. You cannot shoot him in the back.”
Kirk McAllister, Boyer’s attorney, told the jurors that his client is not the angry man the prosecution claims he is, but a frightened homeowner confronted by an intruder high on methamphetamine. He said the evidence shows that Boyer acted in self-defense, believing Pacheco was going to run him over as he revved up his motorcycle.
“This is not a guy who’s out there for vengeance,” McAllister said about his client. “This was a tragic accident. A human life was lost.”
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Boyer, 62, is on trial charged with murder. Pacheco, 25, died at the scene.
He’s taking off. He’s leaving. You cannot shoot him in the back.
Deputy District Attorney John R. Mayne
The attorneys gave their closing arguments Tuesday afternoon. The jury has to decide Boyer’s intent when he fired the shotgun. The jurors could convict Boyer of second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter or assault with a gun. They also can acquit him of all charges.
McAllister said prosecutors are offering the jury a “smorgasbord” of options because they don’t really know what to charge his client with. He argued that the prosecution failed to prove Boyer didn’t act in self-defense.
“They’re throwing it against the wall and seeing what sticks,” McAllister told the jury.
The prosecutor said Boyer’s actions show a conscious disregard for life, because he was familiar with guns and knew aiming a shotgun at a man was dangerous and could cause serious injury. Mayne argued that’s sufficient evidence to prove Boyer’s guilty of second-degree murder.
The deadly shooting occurred shortly before 8 a.m. July 23, 2013, in the 1100 block of Dianne Drive in Turlock, just south of Fulkerth Road and west of Highway 99. There were two homes on the Boyer property, which is near a sweet potato field. Boyer and his wife lived in one home; his mother, Hazel Boyer, lived in the other.
This is not a guy who’s out there for vengeance. This was a tragic accident. A human life was lost.
Defense Attorney Kirk McAllister
The Boyer family testified there had been repeated burglaries on the property by a man on a motorcycle or a motorized scooter. They said the burglaries became more brazen, including one the day before the shooting. The family had just returned from Boyer’s father’s funeral that afternoon when they encountered a burglar stealing from the property. Some of the men in the family tried to chase the burglar on their vehicles.
The defense attorney said Pacheco had targeted the Boyer property and continued to steal, even in broad daylight when the whole family was there. He argued that this was the kind of guy who would run over someone to evade capture again.
The following morning, “Mr. Boyer is standing between Mr. Pacheco and freedom,” McAllister said in court. “This man was higher than a kite on methamphetamine and scary because of it.”
The prosecutor argued that Boyer claims he shot Pacheco by accident, not because he was trying to steal some old car batteries or because he says Pacheco was reaching back possibly for a weapon. Mayne said Boyer was not fearful for his life. He told the jurors Pacheco was shot in the back as he was slightly slumped forward.
After these repeated thefts, the Boyer family never called police, Mayne told the jurors. The defendant testified that law enforcement response times had always been slow, so that’s why he never reported the burglaries. The prosecutor suggested Boyer was more intent on catching Pacheco red-handed to “strongly discourage” him from returning to the property.
Mayne said Pacheco was stealing from the Boyer property that morning, but that people aren’t entitled to shoot thieves not threatening someone’s life. And even if Pacheco was high on meth, it’s still murder, Mayne said.
“He did not have the right to execute Brandon Pacheco,” Mayne argued.
The jury is expected to begin deliberations Wednesday morning in Stanislaus Superior Court.