What do you suppose the verdict and sentence would be if one of our CA forum members did the same thing?
Sure as hell, they'd throw me under the jail. Felon in possession wouldn't apply to me, so they'd pull out every other possible applicable charge. And of course since I've had all the appropriate training, there's no way I'd get to plead ignorance like this guy's lawyers did.
The DA had to know he didn't commit a murder under the statutes, and what he did do wasn't on the list of predicates, so 1st degree and 2nd degree wouldn't stick either. Involuntary manslaughter should have been a slam dunk at the bare minimum. The event being an accident is a viable defense in CA, except when the accident is a result of your criminal activity. So Felon in Possession pretty much covers the criminal activity required to eliminate 'it was an accident' as a defense. Not sure if this is a strike against the prosecutor for not appropriately educating the jury on that fact, or on the jury for ignoring it.
As far as the fact he shouldn't have been here... I just looked up his priors. Ho. Lee. Shit. Deported 5 times. Posession and sale of Marijuana (now not illegal in CA), posession of heroine and other drugs, and of course, the 5 illegal re-entries. Here's what gets me: the timeline.
He was let out of a FEDERAL prison in TX in March of '15.
ICE picked him up from prison, but then...
ICE delivers him to the custody of the SF Sheriff's office, pursuant to a warrant for selling pot in '95.
SF drops the pot charge the following day
and releases him, despite the feds requesting he be held for deportation.
2 months later, he ends up on the pier.
The SF DA KNEW they were going to drop the charges, and could have done so in absentia. But they didn't. They specifically let him go, despite being asked to hold him for pickup. Aiding and abetting much?