Adrian Angulo was braced to receive an unfavorable verdict.
At the mock trial of the Regional Occupational Program’s Careers in Law Enforcement class, the Weston Ranch High senior had reprised his role of Shannon J. Jacobson otherwise known as Shaky.
“I think they’ll find me guilty,” Angulo said Friday during jury deliberation.
On the contrary, he was found innocent of first degree murder.
The 7-5 not-guilty verdict — a simple majority from this jury made of several Army recruiters, teachers, staff members and young professionals was suffice in this case given the time constraints — surprised the defense team of Amaya Finley and Michaela Rutland.
“I think we did OK,” said Rutland prior to the verdict.
Finley added that the witnesses and the ballistic evidence were enough to prove that their client acted in self-defense.
As Shaky, Angulo sported an eye patch as part of his “injury” from last month’s barroom brawl incident.
He was arrested for the shooting death of Jerry Lee Lewis alias Sneaky Pete, who was twice his size.
ROP instructor Joe Waller had turned his auxiliary classroom at the Manteca Unified district complex into the Star Bar for the first part of this longtime exercise.
That same classroom was transformed into courtroom for the followup.
Nneka Ikechiuku presided as judge.
“I added a few twists (as evidence),” said Waller, who has conducted this mock trial for the past 19 years.
He praised the prosecutor Jerry Ramirez, who teamed up with fellow Weston Ranch senior Erika Plascencia.
“Although they lost, (Ramirez) did a great job,” Waller said. “It was one of the best performances I’ve seen during all these years.”
In his earlier class, Waller said the jury found Jacobson guilty by a 7-5 count.
“Either way, I know both sides are making valid points — first degree murder verses self-defense,” he said.