Deliberations begin in Coroner's Inquest
A jury in Walla Walla was split 3 to 3 this evening in the inquest into whether a store owner was justified in shooting a robber three months ago.
The jury began their deliberations about 4:15 this afternoon.
Today during the inquest a detective with the Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office told jurors that he believes New York Store owner John Saul shot 22-year-old Cesar Chavira at a distance of at least 120 feet.
That's the distance from the doorway of the store to the street outside.
The same detective testified that Chavira was hit with 49 pellets from a shotgun.
The detective believes Saul fired five shots from his shotgun and that several pellets from each shell hit Chavira.
Saul claims Chavira broke into his store in the early hours of May 4th and that Saul shot Chavira in self defense.
A forensic pathologist, who conducted the autopsy on Chavira, says the majority of the wounds were on Chavira's back.
The forensic pathologist also says the pattern of the wounds is consistent with Chavira walking or running away from the store.
New York Store owner John Saul claims Chavira broke into his store in the early hours of May 4th and that he (Saul) shot Chavira in self defense.
The jury resume deliberations tomorrow. If they decide the shooting was not justified, John Saul could face charges for Chavira's death.
In addition to the 49 pellet wounds that were discovered on Chavira's body, 31 pellets also hit the Colonial Motel across the street from Saul's store on East Isaacs Avenue.
Nobody at the motel was injured.
Testimony wrapped up around 4:15 p.m. Thursday and the jury