A Fresno county jury deliberated for just over one hour before returning a not guilty verdict for former Fresno County Sheriff Department Narcotics Detective Jared Mullis. Detective Mullis was charged with felony involuntary manslaughter in the accidental death of his friend, colleague and mentor, Sergeant Rod Lucas.
The prosecution alleged that on October 31, 2016, Detective Mullis negligently handled his weapon and accidentally shot and killed Sergeant Lucas. Detective Mullis denied shooting Sergeant Lucas. “In fact Sergeant Lucas shot himself when he attempted to catch the firearm that had slipped from the holster he was holding,” said Roger Wilson, Mullis’s attorney. “This is an extremely tragic situation. My client is really torn up about it emotionally,” Wilson said. “He loved Rod and Rod loved him.”
An independent Department of Justice forensic analysis supported Detective Mullis’s account of the incident.
Detective Mullis wept inconsolably in the courtroom when the verdict was read.
Mullis extended his heartfelt thanks to Roger Wilson and Rains Lucia Stern as well as the PORAC Legal Defense Fund. He continues to grieve the death of his friend and his thoughts and prayers remain with Sergeant Lucas’s family.