A federal jury rejected a San Diego woman’s wrongful death lawsuit against a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer stemming from the shooting of her unarmed, mentally-disabled son.
Leticia Barron told U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna that her 27-year-old son Mauricio posed no threat after he’d been struck by a vehicle on Interstate 5 in October 2016 and CHP motorcycle cop Daniel Agee fired three gunshots at the bloody, disoriented man.
“Officer Agee did not observe a weapon in the decedent’s hands or on his person prior to shooting him,” the lawsuit stated.
But the California Attorney General’s office, which defended Agee, argued that the officer ordered Mr. Barron to stop walking toward him, and claimed he heard the erratically-acting man say he had a gun and wanted to kill him.
“Officer Agee crouched behind his motorcycle for cover,” a deputy AG opined. “Mr. Barron continued to ignore commands, refused to take his hand out from behind his back and turned his body, concealing his right side. It appeared Mr. Barron was attempting to outflank Agee and shoot him . . . He believed his life was in danger and fired three shots.”
One of the shots slammed into Barron’s head.
Efforts to revive him failed.
In its pre-Christmas verdict inside Orange County Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, the jury voted that Agee did not commit excessive force and conducted himself reasonably during the killing.
CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; won inclusion in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting for his coverage of a white supremacist’s senseless murder of a beloved Vietnamese refugee; launched multi-year probes that resulted in the FBI arrests and convictions of the top three ranking members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and gained praise from New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.