Man to Stand Trial for Allegedly Luring an Adversary to Home, Shooting Him Twice, Killing Him

By Noe Herrera

MODESTO, CA – Bryant White, Sr., will be arraigned and set for trial here in Stanislaus County Superior Court March 22 for allegedly luring another man to his home with the intent to shoot and kill him, according to testimony at White’s preliminary hearing last week.

White was arrested in September 2020 after the Modesto Police Department (MPD) was contacted by a neighbor who heard gunshots after an altercation had occurred between White and the victim of the case.

Police found the victim’s corpse just one street away from the incident and were told that White was at a different residence only one street away.

Sergeant Sean Martin, one of the officers who arrived on scene, said the victim had “a gunshot wound to the face, specifically the mouth, and one to the back area.” Officer Martin testified that he found nine millimeter “spent and unspent shell cases” which were consistent with the firearm that White had with him in a picture in his phone.

According to Sergeant Martin, White initially hid in a house one street away for 40 minutes when Officer Smith arrived and he attempted to flee as he was in the process of being arrested. White was finally apprehended after being stopped by a police canine.

White was then charged with murder with malice aforethought and violating his probation terms by discharging a firearm. White pleaded not guilty to both counts.

The deputy public defender representing White at the preliminary hearing claimed that White acted in self-defense and feared for his family’s safety when the victim appeared at his home.

In a Modesto Police Department detective’s interview with White, White claimed that he and the victim have had previous altercations, including one incident at Alex & Sons Gas Station, less than a mile away from the alleged shooting. White also claimed that the victim had approached White at his home before when his children were present.

Sergeant Martin reviewed video footage captured at the Alex & Sons incident and found that White and the victim were “focusing on each other… [and that] it did appear that there was some sort of confrontation in the parking lot.”

Sergeant Martin also reviewed video footage from a neighboring home and found that the victim had “no shirt and that it appeared that he was jogging up and down, stretching, and interacting in front of [White’s home].”

However, Sergeant Martin said that there was no evidence of the victim having a weapon on him. Instead, Sergeant Martin noticed that an individual who appeared to be White was chasing the victim and held a firearm with a laser attachment to it.

This was important to the case because White had allowed police to search his phone and the police found an image of White holding a nine millimeter handgun with a green laser attachment.

In DDA Garcia’s closing statement, he argued that White had “an intent to kill, not just wound.” Garcia also maintained that “[the victim] potentially wanted a fist fight, but did not want guns involved… and Mr. White proposed that [after the incident at Alex and Sons] they take this to [his home] so that it wouldn’t be captured by cameras.”

According to Garcia, White “lured [the victim] to his home where he had a firearm and he began to shoot at [the victim].”

White’s attorney disagreed and stated that the only witness to the shooting “contradicted the factual evidence [from] the video” and that White’s testimony “of prior disputes” was more consistent.

White’s attorney also argued that the adversity between the victim and White “should be weighted here and that it is pretty clear that [the victim] went to [White’s] home where his kids are.” Additionally, the only witness “told the police herself that [the victim] had ‘beat the s**t out of Mr. White.’”

Finally, White’s attorney concluded that the murder was not planned beforehand as alleged in White’s charges, but was a “mere unconsidered rash impulse, hastily executed.”

Judge Dawna Reeves stated, “the court is not of the opinion that [the victim] was not engaged in an altercation… [and that] the court only heard from selected parts of each statement from each side.

“The conclusion that I am left with is that [the victim] wanted to fist fight Mr. White, and Mr. White invited him [to his home] in order for some altercation to occur… [where the victim] was shot.”

Judge Reeves continued, saying “it does appear to the court that Count 1 has been committed… [and that] the homicide in Count 1 has been committed by the defendant intentionally, deliberately, and with premeditation.”

About The Author

Noe is a senior-standing undergraduate at UCSB majoring in the History of Public Policy and Law. He aspires to attend law school and focus on education policy.

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