Wheeling and dealing
Plea deal could be close in case involving McDade shooting
By André Coleman 06/12/2013
An undocumented worker who admitted to lying to a 911 dispatcher about being held up at gunpoint the night police shot and killed an unarmed teenager suspected in the holdup could serve 90 days in jail if he accepts a plea bargain that is reportedly being proposed by the city.
Charged with two counts of obstructing a peace officer, one count of falsely reporting an emergency and three counts of falsely reporting a criminal offense, Oscar Carrillo-Gonzalez, 27, faces four years in prison if convicted on all counts. His trial was supposed to begin last Monday but was postponed so the two sides could negotiate a deal.
Carrillo-Gonzales used the word “gun” eight times during an emergency phone call to a 911 dispatcher shortly after 11 p.m. March 24, 2012. He claimed he was standing a taco stand on Orange Grove Boulevard, near Summit Avenue, when he was robbed at gunpoint by two African Americans wearing hoodies. Two officers responding to the call ultimately shot and killed 19-year-old Kendrec McDade on Sunset Avenue, near Orange Grove, following a short pursuit. Based on Carrillo-Gonzalez’s call, the officers have claimed they believed McDade was armed.
According to the Pasadena Star-News, the city has offered a plea bargain which would allow Carrillo-Gonzalez to plead guilty and serve 90 days in jail, perform 90 days of community service and pay restitution for the police services involved in the incident. Andrew Bustamante, Carrillo-Gonzalez’s attorney, did not return phone calls seeking comment for this story.
City Attorney Michele Beal-Bagneris would not comment on any offers between Bustamante and the city, but did confirm negotiations were under way.
“We don’t generally comment on offers,” Bagneris told the Pasadena Weekly. “The defense attorney has said what offer he is considering. There is a negotiation. The trial is on track for possibly starting next week, but I am not sure what they will do with whatever the offer is.”
Officers Matthew Griffin and Jeffrey Newlen responded to the call shortly after 11 p.m. Without turning on their sirens, they soon encountered McDade near Fair Oaks Avenue, one block from Sunset Avenue. While Newlen chased the teen on foot, Griffin pursued him in the police car, at times shooting out the passenger’s side window. An emergency medical technician said the teen’s last words on the way to the hospital were “Why did they shoot me?”
McDade suffered three fatal gunshot wounds to the abdomen and non-fatal wounds to the left hip, left elbow, right leg and right forearm, according to the coroner’s report on the incident.
Along with the internal police investigation clearing the officers of wrongdoing, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has determined the shooting was justified. The county Office of Independent Review and the FBI are still investigating.
Two separate lawsuits have been filed, one by McDade’s mother, Anaya Slaughter, who lives in Azusa. The other suit was filed by his father, Kenneth, who lives only a few blocks from the scene of the shooting.
Carrillo-Gonzalez, who is in the country illegally, has been free since the shooting with a requirement to wear an electronic monitoring device on his ankle. He faces deportation after the case is decided.
“Whether or not he is guilty of falsely reporting someone had a gun, it does not excuse the police officers for shooting someone if they never see a gun,” said Dale Galipo, Slaughter’s attorney.