Jesse Saucedo intended happy night with his friends and his family. He bought twelve tickets to a comedy night at a large theater. What he got was a nightmare.
Jesse, age ___, is a Registered Nurse. Several of his guests were nurses. After a pleasant dinner they walked to the theater and took their seats, all together in one long row.
Seated in the row directly above them was another party. After the show began the woman behind Jesse’s mother kept talking loudly to the person next to her. That woman, heavily intoxicated, briefly was quieter but then resumed talking loudly, drowning out the comedian. When Ms. Saucedo asked her again to be quiet the drunk responded “F… you, bitch” and flipped her off. A male in the drunk’s party called another woman in the Saucedo party a bitch. Jesse Saucedo’s father stood up and the original drunk woman hit him in the face with a hard wine glass, causing injury. Down the row of seats the drunk woman’s husband got out of his seat and aggressively came at Jesse Saucedo. Jesse hit him with two quick punches to the face. The man did not make physical contact with Jesse. The man didn’t fall.
The lights came on, the theater’s security became involved and the police arrived. No one was arrested.
The man Jesse Saucedo hit was 55 years old, with multiple health problems. He was taken to the hospital that night and diagnosed with an acute subdural hematoma. He was discharged 3 days later.
Nearly three weeks later he died.
Jesse Saucedo was charged with felony manslaughter.
The case called for the defense of self-defense. In California if one believes that he or she is in immediate danger of suffering bodily or of being touched unlawfully, one may use the amount of force reasonably necessary to defend against that danger. One does not have a duty to retreat.
However, the defense was more complicated than that. Mr. McAllister called as a witness a well respected neurosurgeon who testified that the deceased had taken a hard fall the month before and had a resulting prior subdural hematoma. With that preexisting condition, a new bleed on the brain could be caused by such a monor event as being jostled in a crowd or even sneezing.
On September ____, 2018 the jury returned its verdict: Not guilty, all counts.
The next day one of the jurors emailed Kirk McAllister: “Hello Mr. McAllister: I was a juror on the Jesse Saucedo Jr. case and I just wanted to say that I feel you did an EXCELLENT job in defending the case and I feel justice was served. Congratulations to both you and Jesse.”
(Capitals in original)