By Leila Katibah
MODESTO, CA – After a Thursday preliminary hearing, Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Dawna Reeves decided to proceed with a jury trial for Jason Jamar Sheard, charged with the use of an illegal firearm—despite issues prosecutors had with witness testimonies and forensic evidence.
Defense Attorney Robert L. Folkner noted a comment made by the victim that was “undisputed by several witnesses” which alleged the victim yelled at Sheard “I got 100 rounds for you guys.”
After the alleged threat, the victim went to retrieve a firearm from the trunk of his car, according to Folkner, who argued the gun retrieved by the victim was likely used to shoot another person present during the brawl.
Shortly after the shooting, Sheard was stopped in his vehicle by a police cruiser where the gun was recovered and sent to the Department of Justice—but it was not the same firearm that shot the victim.
After the victim walked to his car, an argument ensued, said Defense Attorney Folkner, arguing it was another witness present in the brawl who shot at the victim. He concluded by asking the court not to hold Sheard to answer to the charge and that the case be dismissed.
Deputy District Attorney Adam Christopher Bills agreed it is undisputed that the victim made a death threat to the accused Sheard, although Bill disagreed with the defense attorney claim that the victim retrieved a gun.
DDA Bills claims no witness testified they saw the victim with a gun, but two witnesses testified they saw Sheard with a gun and identified him as the shooter. Another witness alleged Sheard confessed to him after the incident.
The DDA argued although the gun recovered may not be the same one used in this case, it is not sufficient evidence that Sheard is not the shooter, noting, “as the court is well aware, individuals that possess illegal weapons often do so multiple times and over a time period they have multiple guns.”
Defense Attorney Folkner questioned the veracity of the witness testimonies alleging Jason as the shooter by noting witnesses claiming Sheard and the shooter are friends with the victim and “part of his crew.”
Judge Reeves acknowledged the defense argument, but still ruled that Sheard Aug. 18 will be held to answer to felony charges of assault with a firearm and murder with a firearm, coupled with felony gun possession enhancements that could increase the length of his potential sentencing.