No retrial for former Paradise officer

Former Paradise Police Officer Patrick Feaster was sentenced on Dec. 9 to 180 days in Butte County Jail and has a 36 month probation period.

He received probation because he has no prior criminal record. Feaster requested a new trial for the case of shooting a drunk driver. The argument for his new trial was that the jury received incorrect instructions, which led them to a wrongful conviction.

Feaster was found guilty Oct. 18, for involuntary manslaughter of Andrew Thomas. Along with gun enhancement attached to the involuntary manslaughter.

Feaster filled a motion on Nov. 14, in the Butte County Superior Court. Feaster along with his attorney, Paul Goyette, believe that the new trial should be allowed because the jury was told “incorrect” instruction during deliberations that let the prosecution change its theory of the case after the evidence has been presented.

The jury was asked if Feaster acted with criminal negligence when he pulled out his firearm and pulled the trigger. Feaster’s lawyer claimed that if the jury separated these acts and found that one of the three acts were done without criminal negligence, then Feaster was not guilty.

Feaster says the prosecution changed its “continuous act” theory into a “would have to find that each act was criminally negligent in order to find Feaster guilty.”

The judge wrote that he cautioned the jury it couldn’t find Feaster guilty unless every juror agreed that the prosecution proved all three acts by Feaster were negligent.

Also in his motion, he requested that the gun enhancement charge would be taken out, because he was a police officer and that requires him to carry a weapon. The gun enhancement charge adds an extra year of imprisonment to Feasters possible sentence.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey noted in his court filing that Feaster’s defense team already unsuccessfully tried to have the gun enhancement taken out.

Judge James Reilley denied Feaster’s request for a new trial. Based on previous evidence at the trial, the only act that would convict him would be pulling the trigger and that is the only action that could cause the death of another person, according to a press release from the Butte County District Attorney.

“My family doesn’t want a retrial because we’ll just have to go through it again and it was already painful the first time,” Thomas’ sister, Elisabeth Woodward said.

Amber Martin can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.