Man sentenced for 2018 murder in southwest Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Michael Kahl's son, Eric, died at the age of 34 in 2018, the victim of a shooting in southwest Fresno.

"I wish you could've met him," he said. "He was a good man."

Eric earned the nickname of "Trout" by mentoring younger people - taking them fishing and taking them on jobs to learn skills.

His killer didn't know Eric.

A jury convicted Chad Chandler of second-degree murder with a gun and found him sane at the time.

Police found booby traps and explosive devices at his home.

The murder weapon rested on top of a Bible.

Judge Michael Idiart noted Chandler's schizophrenia diagnosis but said everything else about the case pointed him to hand out the maximum punishment.

"Namely the cold-blooded nature of the killing, the planning to a certain extent," the judge said.

"This is an individual who researched where to buy gun parts, how to build a gun," says prosecutor Liz Owen. "He then purchased the gun parts from different stores - one was out of state - built that gun and then used it to kill a person he doesn't even know."

Michael Kahl said it's obvious to him Chandler didn't make a ghost gun for self-defense.

He intended to kill someone.

Kahl believes his son just encountered Chandler at the wrong time, so he was killed, and Chandler would kill again.

"He needs to go away for a long time and not be found on the streets again," Michael said.

The judge sentenced Chandler to 15 years to life in prison for the murder plus 25 to life for using a gun, for a total of 40 years to life in prison.
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