Yuba County Man Convicted of Voluntary Manslaughter

Yuba County Man Convicted of Voluntary Manslaughter
Above: Carl Olsen | Photos courtesy of Yuba County District Attorney’s Office

A Yuba County jury has reached a verdict of guilty in the case of Carl Royd Olsen, 60, of Lincoln. His brother, Eric, previously pleaded no-contest in connection with the same case.

According to a press release by the Yuba County District Attorney’s Office, Olsen was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and personally using a firearm in the shooting death of Robert Blass Mendoza on November 25, 2021. The jury reportedly declined to find Olsen guilty of murder.

The verdict was delivered on June 14 after a trial presided over by Yuba County Senior Deputy District Attorney Monique McDevitt and Deputy District Attorney Caitlin Smith. Sentencing for Carl Olsen has been scheduled for July 24, and he may face a maximum punishment of 21 years in prison.

The initial investigation began on November 26, 2021, when a passerby discovered Mendoza’s body near Wheatland while walking his dog along Spenceville Road. Yuba County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Charles May led the investigation, which reportedly concluded that Mendoza had suffered severe blunt trauma to his face and an apparent gunshot wound to his head. An autopsy later confirmed that Mendoza died as a result of the gunshot wound.

Detectives soon identified a property owned by the Olsen brothers in Lincoln in connection with the investigation. They later located witnesses, who reported that Eric and Carl Olsen confronted Mendoza regarding the alleged theft of a firearm. The alleged confrontation occurred while Mendoza was standing on the tailgate of a truck, unloading its bed.

During the ordeal, Eric Olsen demanded that Mendoza disclose the whereabouts of the stolen gun and allegedly struck him twice with a metal billy-club. Shortly after, Carl Olsen allegedly produced a .22 caliber revolver and fired a single shot, striking Mendoza in the head. Witnesses said they observed Mendoza falling face-first from the tailgate.

Eric Olsen

Yuba County detectives executed a search warrant at the Olsen brothers’ property, where they reportedly discovered multiple firearms, including the revolver used in the shooting. In addition, bloodstains were found on Carl Olsen’s truck, which investigators believe was used to transport and abandon Mendoza’s body in Yuba County.

Both Carl and Eric Olsen testified during the trial. Carl maintained that he believed Mendoza was armed and felt compelled to shoot him in order to protect himself and his brother. Eric, however, testified that he was taken by surprise when Carl fired the fatal shot. Based on the jury’s verdict, it was concluded that Carl Olsen acted with imperfect self-defense, signifying that his belief of imminent danger to himself or others was objectively unreasonable under the circumstances.

The case now comes to the sentencing phase.

Carl’s brother, Eric Tait Olson, who pleaded no contest on May 31, 2023, to assaulting Mendoza with a deadly weapon and being an accessory-after-the-fact to murder, awaits his sentencing on July 12, 2023, with a maximum term of three years in prison.

Yuba County Man Convicted of Voluntary Manslaughter was last modified: June 22nd, 2023 by admin
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