Man mistakenly released from prison, stabbed to death hours later
A career criminal has been killed after he was mistakenly released from court when a jury accidentally signed a not-guilty verdict and then he was stabbed to death in a fight hours later.
The flabbergasted judge said Wednesday that he had no choice but to order defendant Bobby Lee Pearson to be released from jail because the verdict of not guilty had been put on the record, The Fresno Bee reported.
Hours later, Pearson was stabbed to death after going to a home to get some clothing and belongings, Fresno police Sgt. James Rios said.
He apparently got into a fight early Thursday with his sister’s boyfriend, who Rios says then stabbed him.
The two reportedly had a long history of problems. The boyfriend’s name has not been released.
Though he had not been formally found guilty in the burglary case, The Fresno Bee referred to him as a felon and a career criminal, indicating that he had a prior history.
Superior Court Judge W. Kent Hamlin said Wednesday that he couldn’t change the verdict form because double jeopardy was already attached.
‘This has never happened to me in more than 100 jury trials that I have done,’ he said.
Pearson and two co-defendants were accused of burglarizing an apartment last year and stealing a video system and a gun. The homeowner allegedly caught the intruders and wrestled with one of them.
Jurors returned a guilty verdict against Pearson’s co-defendant, Terrel Minniweather, and the mistaken not guilty verdict against Pearson before lunch Wednesday.