Burton Caliz found guilty of manslaughter

vlcsnap-2013-10-02-07h26m02s198Police Constable, 30 year old Burton Caliz, was charged initially with murder but was found guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of Leroy Pilgrim on San Pedro. Now on retrial after more than 7 years, Burton Caliz’s trial came to a close on Tuesday. At 12:33 p.m., Tuesday afternoon, a jury of 7 women and 2 men stepped into the deliberating room to decide the fate of the interdicted cop.  But at 3:50 Tuesday evening, when the jury first knocked on the door that they were ready, their verdict was not complete. While they found him not guilty of manslaughter, they were hung on a verdict for manslaughter by negligence as their verdict was neither 8/1 or 7/2. Since it was below 7/2, Judge Gonzalez asked them to return to the deliberating room to see if they could reach a verdict for the alternative charge.   They did, and at 4:27 p.m., they returned again and announced that the interdicted cop was guilty of manslaughter by negligence at a proportion of 7/2.  At least 2 persons thought he was not guilty.   Burton Caliz is out on a reduced bail of $4,000 which was granted to him by Justice Gonzalez.  Sentencing is set for next week Thursday, October 10, where mitigation plea will be heard on his behalf.    His attorney, Dickie Bradley has indicated to the court that they will appeal today’s verdict. PC Caliz was initially charged with manslaughter back in March 2004, but on indictment on June 21, 2005, he saw the charge upgraded from manslaughter to murder and his $8,000 bail was revoked and he was remanded to prison. He was later tried but found guilty of manslaughter instead of murder and on March 21, 2007, he was sentenced to 10 years. That conviction would later be overturned by the court of appeal and set aside and a retrial ordered. Leroy  Pilgrim was shot once to the back of his head.  Police claimed that Leroy Pilgrim had a gun and struggled with PC Caliz and that the gun went off, killing him.

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