By Ganga Nair
SACRAMENTO, CA – Eddie Young and Jeremy Lucas were charged here Thursday in Sacramento County Superior Court with attempted murder, attempted robbery, possession of a firearm and more after an alleged impulsive robbery led to the shooting of a man in the chest.
The unforeseen, brutal attack was recorded and shown at a preliminary hearing Thursday.
Young was represented by attorney Olaf William Hedberg and Lucas was represented by Assistant Public Defender Larry Benjamin Yee.
Prosecutor Jesse R. Saucedo argued against both defendants, calling Detectives Brandon Wright, Robert Puga, and James Tidwell to share the details and results of their investigation.
Saucedo began the hearing with surveillance footage showing the events of June 18, 2020, when the shooting occurred. At around 2 a.m., a black Volvo S80 with three passengers approached the victim. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Lucas by all three detectives and one of the passengers was identified as Young.
After a brief moment, the video shows Young, wearing a black hoodie, come out of the vehicle, holding what Detective Puga described as “some type of semi-automatic firearm.” Young then pointed the gun at the victim, and instructed the victim to drop their belongings. After patting the victim down and seemingly finding nothing, Young shoots the victim and flees the scene.
Deputies were quickly dispatched to the scene, with enough time to provide care for the victim and preserve the scene. The victim was lying face down, with a gunshot wound to the left side the chest that came out through his back. The bullet casing was found roughly three feet away from the victim. The bullet was identified as a 9mm casing.
The victim sustained serious injuries, which at the time were so severe Detective Puga stated the doctor was “unsure he would survive.” After entering the medical center in critical condition, the victim was left paralyzed from the neck down.
When examining the surveillance footage, Detective Wright noticed distinct features about the vehicle. The Volvo had a white piece of paper stuck to the rear windshield, along with a broken rear brake light and a black bumper guard extending along the passenger side of the vehicle.
The white piece of paper was, he said, “a temporary registration tab commonly seen on vehicles that are newly purchased.” The deputy then ran a vehicle registration test to find the license plate number of the Volvo.
Wright then used this information to find other images or videos of the vehicle. The vehicle was seen in broad daylight just two days before the shooting, with the same distinct features. Wright obtained a search warrant for the residence of Young’s girlfriend, the Volvo’s owner.
Young’s girlfriend’s home, one which Young “frequented quite often,” was searched the following day, June 19, 2020. The defendant’s girlfriend stated that, although she knew Young possessed guns, she did not know where they were. Upon the search, a black hoodie and a 9mm handgun were found.
The girlfriend’s younger sister was interviewed as well by Detective Wright, who indicated that she initially said she did not see or hear Young at her sister’s house the night before.
However, her story was later changed, in which she mentioned Young was in her sister’s residence at around 1 a.m. She said he was talking to someone else, saying, “I’ve never seen anyone drop like that before.”
Later that day, Detectives Puga and Tidwell returned to the scene of the shooting to follow up on their investigation. They were advised to look for a black Volvo S80 with the license plate number Wright found, which they found while casing the area. Both detectives subsequently pulled the car over and detained the passengers, Lucas and his girlfriend.
Detective Tidwell later interviewed Lucas’ girlfriend, who stated again she owned the black Volvo.
However, she said Lucas was home the night of the shooting with her and their child. Tidwell indicated that he was aware she was lying, and Lucas’ girlfriend changed her story. Although the three of them were home, at around 12 a.m., Lucas left and did not return until 8 a.m. in her Volvo.
Lucas was then interviewed, and also initially said he was at home, and later mentioned that he was called by Young, who described that they were “initially just riding around,” and at some point they “decided that the next person they saw” they “were gonna rob.”
The defense noted that neither of the defendants had the intention to kill. However, Young would eventually shoot the victim and flee with Lucas.
When asked why Young shot the victim, Detective Tidwell explained that Young told him [Lucas] that “he didn’t have anything for him.”
PD Yee argued that almost all counts should be dropped on lack of sufficient evidence, claiming Lucas “had no idea that was going to happen,” and that there was nothing to indicate Lucas owned a firearm. “He sent a photograph of the co-defendant [Young] holding a firearm, which I don’t think constitutes possession or control of a firearm.”
DDA Saucedo notes both defendants not only possess criminal records, but they are co-defendants in prior convictions as well, arguing, “The natural probable consequence of doing a robbery is that the person being robbed is going to be assaulted. By its very nature, pointing a gun is an assault.”
Defense attorney Hedberg argues that, although “the video speaks for itself,” it does not show that there was any plan or intent to kill the victim.
The prosecution describes the crime as “one of the most callous, cruelest acts caught on video.”
DDA Saucedo concludes, “The choice to shoot a man in the chest in cold blood shows a clear intent to kill. There can be no other reason to shoot a man in these circumstances.”
Judge Gerrit W. Wood found Young and Lucas guilty of all counts for preliminary hearing purposes, and set further pretrial proceedings for Sept. 10.