Fresno Police Chief: If Jury Hadn’t Mistakenly Freed Man, He Wouldn’t Be Dead

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Had a Fresno jury not mistakenly released a 37-year-old career criminal on Wednesday, he would not have ended up dead less than an hour later following a fight at his sister’s house, the city’s police chief said.


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: Fresno Police PD via Los Angeles Times)

Bobby Lee Pearson got what started out as an unbelievable break Wednesday after a Fresno jury mistakenly checked the “not guilty” box on the court form for his burglary trial, an error that a judge determined could not be corrected.

Within an hour of his release, 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.

“The question that comes about in an incident like this is, ‘If Bobby Pearson would not have been released, would this murder have occurred?’ ” Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer told reporters Thursday. “And the obvious answer is, ‘No, he would have been in jail.'”

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