Teen justified in fatally shooting father who was choking mother, sheriff says

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FRESNO COUNTY, CA (KSEE) A 16-year-old California boy who shot and killed his father Saturday night was back with his mother Sunday after being detained and interviewed by Fresno County Sheriff’s Office detectives. 

They determined the teen did shoot Javier Vera, 54, to protect his mother.

In an email Sunday, sheriff’s office public information officer Tony Botti said the agency does not plan to arrest the teen in the future. The case is now headed to the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office to determine is any criminal charges are warranted.

“They had just come back from a family gathering earlier,” said Botti. “The argument actually started to heat up just as they were getting back to the house.”

At the house, investigators say the argument only continued to escalate, resulting in the fatal act sometime before 4:30 p.m.

“The husband actually began choking the wife. It was during that time, or shortly thereafter, their 16-year-old son approached them with a gun — and ended up shooting the father,” Botti said.

The teen — who was described to be visibly shaken — was immediately taken in questioning. The mother was said to not have injuries that needed a trip to the hospital.

Criminal defense attorney Marshall Hodgkins has had similar cases, he said it sounds like a defense of others case.

He adds even though the sheriff’s office has already said the teen’s actions were justified, it’s normal for the DA’s office to still examine the case for possible charges.

“It’s just procedure,” Hodgkins said.

No word yet if this family had history with domestic violence. The sheriff’s office is putting out a reminder there are local resources, like the Marjaree Mason Center, readily available for families who need it.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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