The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office is approaching the Brandon Pacheco shooting with caution and is currently awaiting more investigative information before deciding whether to charge the admitted shooter, Turlock resident Robin Boyer, 58.
The incident occurred on July 23, when Boyer undisputedly shot and killed Pacheco, 25.
Turlock police were called to a home in the 1100 block of Dianne Drive at 7:56 a.m. and found Pacheco deceased in a field. Boyer told police he had found Pacheco trespassing on his property.
Boyer told police that he shot Pacheco after seeing him trespass on his property several times in the past. It is believed Boyer saw Pacheco on his property the morning of the shooting and confronted him.
Boyer was not arrested and Turlock police say he was cooperative in their investigation.
It is believed Boyer shot Pacheco in the head, although officials have yet to confirm whether Pacheco was shot in the front or the rear of his head. Pacheco’s sister, Shannon Pacheco, 34, says she saw her brother’s body and that he was shot in the back of the head.
“He had no wounds other than to the back of his head. I know for a fact that he was running away from Boyer,” she said. “Why didn’t Boyer just beat him up or shoot him in the leg or fire a warning shot? I think he will be charged.”
It also remains unclear if Boyer shot Pacheco on his own property. Initial police reports said Pacheco was shot in a field near his property, but the exact location has not been released.
Shannon Pacheco says she has been in regular contact with a Turlock police detective, and that the detective has told her to remain patient. According to Shannon Pacheco, the detective said “it shouldn't be too much longer, until me and my family have the answers we have been waiting for.”
Stanislaus County Assistant District Attorney Carol Shipley, who could not comment on the particulars of the investigation, says there is no established time-line for when the investigative information will be received and a decision made whether or not to charge Boyer with murder or any lesser charges.
She noted the District Attorney is taking a cautionary approach to the case.
“Sometimes we think we have enough evidence and then through further investigation we realize we didn’t have as much as we thought, so we end up pleading the case out or dropping the charges,” Shipley said. “In a case like this, we don’t want to make a mistake. We need to make an intelligent, informed decision.”
Shipley says the investigation must be thorough to be fair to all parties, including Boyer.
“If I were the suspect, I would want the investigation to be complete as possible,” she said. “We have to take every case individually on its facts. Those facts and evidence can vary from case-to-case when it comes to making a decision to charge someone.”
Yet Pacheco's family, dealing with the tragic loss of a family member, want justice to come quickly.
“These nights are hard, I miss you brother so much,” Shannon Pacheco posted to her Facebook on Sept. 9. “I just wish I could feel your hugs or see your beautiful smile again, I know someday I will, but it still isn’t getting easier knowing that you aren’t here. I love you so much xoxo!!”
Shipley agreed that the case is a firestorm on both sides of the argument.
Brandon Pacheco’s family admits he was no angel. However, they contend that he did not deserve to die the manner he did and have publicly questioned the motives of Boyer. Pacheco had prior convictions for grand theft, commercial burglary and methamphetamine possession in the months leading up to his death.
In the days following the incident, Brandon’s sister Linzey Pacheco posted on her Facebook that, “He was a good hard working kid that never would hurt anybody and was unarmed, and viciously mowed down. He had a lot of family and a lot of friends that loved him. And he was too young to die like this.”
Shannon Pacheco contends that there was likely little to no confrontation between Boyer and her brother.
“My brother was not confrontational or violent,” Shannon Pacheco said. “He had never even been in a fistfight in his whole life. He was running away from Boyer. I think what happened was he had seen my brother before and he (Boyer) was waiting for him to come back. I think he will be charged.”
Shannon Pacheco described her brother as “loving and never mean to his family.”
“I would sit there and lecture to him forever, because he had problems, and he would sit there and start crying. He was never the thug some people are making him out to be.”
She also said that past reports about Brandon Pacheco's homelessness were erroneous. According to Shannon Pacheco he paid rent, but let homeless people stay with him.
Since the incident members of the Pacheco family have indicated they have received hurtful messages from people who do not know them or Brandon.
“There are people saying he deserved it,” said Shannon Pacheco, choking back tears. “No one deserves to die for that. If he went to court would the judge sentence him to death? No, he wouldn’t. It’s unbelievable what people say to me about him that don’t even know my brother.”