Jury Selected in Trial of Police Officer Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter
Lawyers for the Prosecution and for Patrick Feaster finally agreed upon a jury to hear the manslaughter case against former town of Paradise police officer Patrick Feaster. Mr. Feaster has been charged in violation of Penal Code Section 192(b) (involuntary manslaughter) arising from his November 26th, 2015 accidental shooting of drunk-driving suspect Andrew Thomas. Mr. Thomas was struck by a bullet accidentally discharged from Mr. Feaster’s Glock .45 caliber handgun. Mr. Thomas died of various complications related to his gunshot wound approximately 1 month later.
District attorney, Mike Ramsey, and lead trial lawyer for Mr. Feaster, Paul Goyette, eliminated dozens of jurors from a large pool in an effort to get 12 jurors who could be fair. There had been significant local publicity about this case. In addition, intense national media attention on police use of force, and police relations with the public, had prejudiced a large percentage of the jury pool. Goyette commented, “I was surprised how many people, who had otherwise good interaction with the police, had been influenced media, and could not be fair to a police officer in this case.”
The trial resumes this week with the Prosecution continuing to present its case.
This underscores the importance of getting professional representation, even if you are a law enforcement officer.