Written by attorney Jeffrey Tyson Hammerschmidt

Fresno Man Sentenced To 21 Years In Prison For Killing His Cousin

A Fresno man who took a plea deal in a homicide case was sentenced to 21 yearsin state prison for the shooting death of his cousin. James Keith Wynn, 22, was sentenced by Judge Alan Simpson for shooting his cousin, Andrais Hackett, 25, in March 2012.

When Judge Simpson asked prosecutor Stephanie Savrnoch why the case was not taken to trial, she said that “the two men had confrontations previously and Wynn was convinced he was going to get killed by Hackett in their final argument," according to the Fresno Bee. Savrnoch further indicated that Wynn said he knew Haccket carried a gun, and that he was afraid Hackett was going to kill him. While no gun was found on Hackett’s person when he died, there was a fully loaded ammunition magazine in one of his pockets. Ultimately, Savrnoch said that due to Hackett’s prior conviction for carrying a firearm a jury might have seen Wynn’s concerns as valid.

From the Fresno Bee:

Four months earlier, Wynn had been shot and nearly died, said his lawyer, Melina Benninghoff, who agreed with the district attorney's summary of the case. Even though a suspect was never arrested, she said Wynn suspected Hackett may have been involved.

Wynn and Hackett had an ongoing dispute after Hackett beat up Wynn's brother in a fight and continued to threaten Wynn, Benninghoff said.

The murder count against Wynn was dismissed. He will have to serve 85% of a 21-year term. He will get credit for time served since his arrest 14 months ago.

Additional resources provided by the author

If you are in need of criminal defense lawyer in California, please contact the Fresno based law firm of Hammerschmidt Broughton Law Corporation. Our attorneys can be reached at (559) 772-4614. We are also on the Web

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