FRESNO – A Fresno County jury on Tuesday found a local pot grower guilty in the death of a man who was trying to steal marijuana from his yard.
Police say, 47, shot and killed 40-year-old Stanley Wallace of Caruthers in September 2010. Wallace and several others pulled up to Dydouangphan’s house in Fresno in a pickup truck and stole the medical marijuana that he was growing legally in his backyard.
Dydouangphan came out of his house and shot at the group as they drove away in the pickup, striking Wallace in the head.
Franz Criego, Dydouangphan’s attorney, said his client acted in self-defense. He said his client became scared for his life when he saw someone in the pickup truck with a gun. Prosecutors contended that Dydouangphan had no right to shoot Wallace because Wallace didn’t pose a threat.
After two-and-a-half days of deliberation, the jury delivered a guilty verdict for voluntary manslaughter. Although prosecutors charged Dydouangphan with first degree murder, they were still satisfied with the results of the trial.
“I am pleased with the fact that the jury took this case seriously and I’m pleased with the verdict,” prosecutor Michael Frye said.
Defense lawyer Criego was glad that they didn’t find his client guilty of first degree murder, but thought the jury still went too far.
“If he’s not guilty and the reason why is self-defense, then he should not, in my opinion, be found guilty of voluntary manslaughter,” Criego said.
Much of the case against Dydouangphan was based on testimony from the other occupants in the pickup truck that night. After the trial, Criego called these people “thieves and hooligans” who were granted immunity by the district attorney’s office and “still took the stand and did not tell the truth.”
Dydouangphan was also found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and shooting at an occupied vehicle. He faces a minimum sentence of 25 years to life.