District Attorney Jan Scully announced that Jerry King was convicted by jury for the first degree murder of his 50-year-old uncle, Willis Griffin. The jury also found true that King personally discharged a 7mm rifle that caused the death of Griffin.
On December 9, 2012, King was living in the rural Sacramento County town of Herald. King was upset that he was going to be kicked out of the mobile home where he was staying with his mother and Griffin. When Griffin arrived at the home to confront King about leaving, King used a 7mm hunting rifle to shoot Griffin in the chest, killing him in the driveway. King ran 100 yards behind the mobile home and hid the rifle in the dense 10 acre eucalyptus tree grove.
King called 911 and reported that an unknown assailant drove by in a gray truck and shot Griffin. A firearms detecting K-9 with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department located the hidden rifle on the property the following day.
During the trial, King testified that he knew Griffin was there to make him leave the home so he got the rifle to protect himself when he walked outside. King stated that he shot Griffin accidentally when Griffin asked, “What are you going to do shoot me?” King testified that the gun spontaneously discharged. King’s version of events was discredited. King was standing approximately 10 feet in front of Griffin when he fired the rifle. The bullet went directly through Griffin’s heart.
King is facing 50 years to life in prison. Sentencing is set for March 21, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. in Department 31 before the Honorable Michael Kenny.