Unenforced gun laws combined with bureaucratic mistakes cost a deputy his life. Tragic.
From Sacramento Bee: Anton Lemon Paris, the man accused of killing one Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy and wounding another, has been charged on multiple occasions with serious crimes including assault with a deadly weapon and possession of an illegal assault rifle.
With regular frequency, he has been arrested for lower-level offenses including domestic violence and carrying a loaded firearm, according to court records, and reported to police for alleged bank fraud, car theft and making death threats.
He has been banned by the courts from owning guns at least twice, but for years has openly flaunted them on social media and on city streets.
As recently as July, he was reported to police for firing a gun in public.
Paris, 38, is now charged with murder and attempted murder for the Sept. 17 Rancho Cordova shooting that left Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Stasyuk dead and his partner Julie Robertson wounded. Paris allegedly pulled a gun on the deputies seconds after they entered the Pep Boys store in Rancho Cordova, shooting a clerk before following Stasyuk outside and firing lethal shots into his back and head.
It’s a grim finale to at least 20 years of violence and trouble that thrust Paris into the path of law enforcement and the courts more than a dozen times, but which resulted more in luck and leniency than consequences. His life was punctuated with a series of minor infractions that made him appear more of a menace than a threat. But a critical mistake on his rap sheet, plea deals, favorable jury decisions and apparent inaction by law enforcement allowed Paris to continue unchecked a chaotic and malevolent life that seemingly slid deeper into criminality the more he escaped punishment, official records show.
“He’s gotten away with everything he has done,” said the daughter of a former girlfriend of Paris’ who says he threatened to kill her. She asked not to be identified because she fears retaliation. “He was the guy who was willing to shoot anybody because he felt entitled to, because he felt above the law. He felt better than everybody, like he could do whatever and get away with it because he has.”
Paris’ most serious conviction came in 2010 from possessing a pair of homemade nunchucks – a felony that was erroneously recorded on his state criminal record as a lesser charge.
The incident that led to the conviction started with a nuisance call on April 4, 2008. A neighbor living near Paris’ father, Anthony Paris, in West Sacramento called police to report a person playing a car stereo in the morning, loudly enough to trigger her migraines. An officer arrived and found the younger Paris in his Lincoln Town Car, parked in his father’s driveway.
Paris turned down the stereo, locked the car and turned on the alarm as the officer approached. The officer said in court testimony he thought it was strange behavior and became suspicious. He asked to see identification and Paris turned over his wallet. Inside, the officer found a list of guns with serial numbers, according to court records. Two guns on the list were reported stolen, but were never located in Paris’ possession, according to court documents.
The officer searched the car and found a loaded Glock .45 caliber handgun under the passenger seat, ammunition, marijuana, scales and an illegally modified Ruger Mini-14 semiautomatic rifle in the trunk. He also found what Paris claimed was a broken security baton but which a court expert described as homemade nunchucks – two wooden dowels with holes drilled to allow rope to connect them.
Nunchucks are prohibited in California and possessing them can be a felony offense.
Paris was registered as a security guard and held a valid exposed firearm permit from the state Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, allowing him to have the handgun in his car for work purposes, agency records show. The rifle was not required by the state to be registered, but was modified with a flash suppressor, according to court testimony. That made it illegal, but Paris claimed he didn’t know about the suppressor.
Paris also possessed a medical marijuana license, making the cannabis legal – though the 101 gram quantity led to charges of selling it. Paris said he used the cannabis to treat pain for a gunshot wound he had sustained in his leg a year prior related to his work as a security guard, when he claimed someone from an apartment complex he guarded had recognized him off duty and attempted to rob his car. He told the court he was receiving state disability from that injury, along with a payment of $8,597.16 from a state victims’ compensation fund, more than $4,000 of which the arresting officer found in the pocket of his 49ers jacket.
A Yolo County jury believed him and hung on most counts, but convicted him of one felony for having the makeshift martial arts weapon. He was also found guilty of enhancements to the felony that included being armed with a firearm and an assault weapon.
Paris was given 273 days in county jail in February 2011. During the sentencing hearing, Paris snuck out of the courthouse and disappeared. Whether Paris was apprehended or turned himself in is unclear, but records show he began serving his sentence in June 2011.
The conviction was listed on his state criminal record, commonly called a rap sheet, as a misdemeanor. The California Department of Justice, which maintains rap sheets, declined to speak about the mistake, citing state privacy laws.
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