Trial of former Fresno County Deputy accused of killing his sergeant continues

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Saturday, December 7, 2019
Trial of former Fresno County Deputy accused of killing his sergeant continues
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If convicted, the former Fresno County Deputy faces up to 4 years in prison for allegedly killing his sergeant.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Day two of the manslaughter trial of the former Fresno County Deputy accused of killing his sergeant.

Sergeant Rod Lucas died on Halloween 2016 from a gunshot wound to the chest.

According to the prosecution, Jared Mullis was negligent with his gun when it accidentally fired and killed Lucas while the two were back at the Sheriff's Office following a special drug operation.

Wearing a dark-colored suit, the former Sheriff Deputy Jared Mullis sat in the defendant's chair while listening to his past colleague talk to the jury. He spoke about his version of the events following Rod Lucas' death a little more than three years ago

"Jared was very emotional at that point. He initially just kept saying everybody thinks I did it, I didn't do it, I didn't do it at all," said Fresno County Lieutenant Brandon Pursell.

Lieutenant Pursell was the liaison between the Lucas family and Sheriff's Office at the time of the shooting death.

He testified that Mullis was vague and even suggested that he lied when the two spoke in the days following the tragic incident

"He made statements that were not even making sense. Or didn't even appear to be truthful. He had even said at one point I wasn't even there," said Pursell.

Although multiple witnesses have already stated that Mullis was in the room when his gun accidentally fired.

A State Department of Justice report says the deadly shot came from two to three feet away and only DNA from Mullis was found on the gun

Under cross-examination. Lieutenant Pursell did not waiver on his previous statements.

"I didn't want to sit there and have a conversion with him about him telling me he didn't shoot Rod. I didn't want to hear that dishonesty from him," said Pursell.

If convicted Jared Mullis faces up to 4 years in prison. The trial is expected to last three to four weeks.