Ex-LAPD officer goes on trial for killing man in Costco in Corona

The case of Salvador Alejandro Sanchez, a former LAPD officer involved in the fatal shooting at a Corona Costco, presents a complex legal scenario. This article delves into the specifics of the incident, the charges filed, and the applicable California Penal Codes, offering a comprehensive overview for those interested in the intricacies of criminal defense law.

The Incident in Detail

On June 14, 2019, at the Costco in Corona, Salvador Sanchez, then an LAPD officer, fatally shot Kenneth French, a developmentally disabled man. The altercation reportedly began when French pushed or slapped Sanchez, leading to the shooting that also critically injured French’s parents​​​​​​.

Charges and Penal Codes

  • Voluntary Manslaughter Charge: Salvador Sanchez faces a count of voluntary manslaughter under California Penal Code Section 192(a). This law defines voluntary manslaughter as the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, occurring during a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion.
  • Assault with a Semiautomatic Firearm Charge: Sanchez is also charged with two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, as outlined in California Penal Code Section 245(b). This specific charge is levied for committing an assault on another person using a semiautomatic firearm. In this incident, the alleged victims are the parents of Kenneth French.
  • Sentence-Enhancing Gun and Great Bodily Injury Allegations: Alongside these charges, there are sentence-enhancing allegations related to the use of a gun and causing great bodily injury. These allegations, if proven, can lead to more severe penalties under the relevant California penal statutes.

Connecting the Incident to the Charges

The charges stem from the incident’s circumstances, particularly the altercation between Sanchez and French. The voluntary manslaughter charge reflects the lack of premeditation but acknowledges the lethal outcome of the conflict. The assault charges focus on the use of a semiautomatic firearm against French’s parents.

Defense’s Perspective

Sanchez’s defense, as articulated by his attorney, has suggested that the shooting was a result of self-defense and a reaction to being attacked. They have criticized the charges as being politically motivated and not reflective of the situation’s nuances​​​​.

Legal Defenses and Implications

Potential defenses in this case might include:

  • Self-Defense: Arguing that Sanchez’s actions were a necessary response to an immediate threat.
  • Questioning the Evidence: Challenging the prosecution’s evidence, including the nature of the altercation and the circumstances leading to the shooting.

Potential Sentencing and Consequences

If convicted, Sanchez faces significant imprisonment. The exact duration will depend on the court’s interpretation of the incident’s circumstances and the applicable California sentencing guidelines.

The Salvador Sanchez case highlights the legal complexities surrounding law enforcement actions, particularly when off-duty. It raises questions about self-defense, use of force, and the legal repercussions faced by police officers. For those facing similar charges or interested in criminal law, understanding such cases is crucial. At The Law Offices Of Arash Hashemi, we specialize in navigating the intricacies of criminal defense. Contact us at (310) 870-2607 for expert legal counsel.

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