Body Armor, Guns and Life Imprisonment

The dramatic story of how two young men robbed others of 14 lbs of marijuana while wearing body armor and carrying an AK-47 and a .45 pistol ended in the conviction of one for the murder of the other today. According to the 2009 Press Release,

Shortly before 11:00 last night the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report of shots fired near School and Anderson Roads in McKinleyville. The reporting party indicated the suspects were driving a gold Jeep Grand Cherokee had fired several shots from an AK-47 assault rifle. A short time later another caller reported seeing somebody in a gold Jeep Grand Cherokee waving a weapon out the window on Giuntoli Road in Arcata. A sheriff’s deputy responded to the area and spotted the vehicle traveling eastbound on Hwy 299. The deputy followed the vehicle at a distance while waiting for additional deputies to arrive. With additional sheriff’s units in place, deputies attempted to conduct a car stop on the vehicle. The driver failed to yield but instead accelerated with deputies in pursuit. About five miles into pursuit the passenger in the Jeep fired three to four shots at the pursuing deputies. The suspects fired at deputies six more time – each time firing between two and four rounds. (Read the rest of the story here.)

The Humboldt Co.  District Attorney’s Office Press Release has more on today’s verdict:

Brian Cole Fiore was convicted of the Murder of David Fields, Attempted Murder of CHP Officer Michael
Noland, and Attempted Murder of CHP Officer Eric Nelson. The jury deliberated for 7 days before reaching their verdicts which were delivered today. Mr. Fiore faces 3 consecutive life terms in prison. The jury also convicted Fiore of six additional felony counts including two counts of Robbery, Transportation of Marijuana, Transportation of an Assault Weapon and Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle, and Felony Evading of Arrest.

The jury was unable to reach verdicts on 3 other Attempted Murder counts, as to pursuing Sheriff’s Deputies, as well as a Burglary count, and a count of Resisting an Executive Officer.

“It was a sad case, because a young man was killed and another young man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison” said Allan L. Dollison the Deputy District Attorney who prosecuted the case. “However, when you come to our community and bring this type of horrific violence, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law” Dollison also said.

The prosecution was a joint effort by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Department of Justice, the Humboldt County Coroner’s office, and the Investigation Division of the District Attorney’s Office. All of these agencies played a vital role in the prosecution of the case, and the presentation and analysis of the evidence.

The Defendant took the stand in his own Defense, and argued that he was put under duress and coerced by Fields to commit these crimes. When the Defendant was arrested, he was found wearing body armor, and had shot himself in the head just before the vehicle he was driving careened over the side of the highway and crashed 175 feet below.

Key evidence in the case focused on which weapons were used to commit the various shootings, as well as angle, trajectory, and the damage those weapons would inflict.

It was a complex case that included 34 witnesses over 200 items of evidence, and arguments that lasted 2 days.

“Justice was served in this case, and the community will be protected from this type of conduct by this Defendant” said Dollison.

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