Former Paradise police officer Patrick Feaster was found guilty of manslaughter today for the shooting death of a DUI suspect last November in an incident captured on his own dash cam.
Feaster, who won numerous awards for the number of DUI arrests he made, faces five years in prison. He has not yet been sentenced.
It was a karmic decision considering Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey initially announced he would file no charges against the cop because the shooting was an “accident.”
But Ramsey had a change of heart after a huge national outcry.
Today, during closing statements, Ramsey told the jury the shooting was no accident, according to KRCR News.
District Attorney Mike Ramsey began closing arguments Monday by talking about the victim, Andrew Thomas, calling him the “every man”. Ramsey then delved into Feaster and the kind of officer he was.
“Feaster is the officer that should have known better” Ramsey said, “He made choices that Thanksgiving night”.
Ramsey even held up Feaster’s handgun to show the jury where an officer is supposed to put their finger and the importance of a trigger guard.
“This case is not an accidental shooting. This was a negligent shooting and, as it will show, a criminally negligent shooting.”
The incident took place on November 26, 2015 after Feaster tried to pull over Andrew Thomas, a 26-year-old man who had just left a bar with his wife.
Thomas rolled the van over, ejecting his wife, then stuck his head out the window as Feaster stepped out of his patrol car after pulling up to the scene.
Feaster fired once, striking Thomas, who fell back down into his vehicle.
However, Feaster waited more than ten minutes before informing his supervisor that he had shot Thomas.
Thomas’ wife ended up dying on the scene, but he did not die until almost a month later.
Feaster was then charged with involuntary manslaughter and left his job, even though they never said if it was a resignation or termination.
In March 2016, while awaiting trial, he was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct along with his brother.