Man Killed Less Than an Hour After Being Mistakenly Freed From Fresno Jail

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Bobby Lee Pearson, a 37-year-old career criminal, got an unbelievable break Wednesday that allowed him to stride out of a Fresno jail a free man.


Bobby Lee Pearson was released from a Fresno jail Wednesday after a jury accidentally declared him not guilty of burglary. He was killed less than an hour after his release. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

A jury hearing his burglary case was divided 8-4 in favor of guilt, prosecutors say. But they mistakenly checked the “not guilty” box on the court form, an error that a judge determined could not be corrected.

Less than an hour after being released, Pearson was dead. Police say he was stabbed to death by his sister’s boyfriend at her house when he arrived to retrieve his belongings.

Authorities arrested the boyfriend, 35-year-old Willie Gray, of Fresno, on suspicion of murder Thursday.

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