BARSTOW • A former Barstow man was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday for the death of a comrade who was shot and killed during a failed robbery attempt in 2009.
Stefan Copeland, 38, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Wednesday in the death of his accomplice, Henry Jackson, 57, of Los Angeles.
Copeland, Jackson, and Lewis Ricardo, 53, also from Los Angeles, were accused of attempting to rob Paul Arreola, 38, at his home on Teton Drive on June 12, 2009. When Arreola was attacked he shot and killed Jackson.
Copeland was originally charged with murder under the provocative act doctrine, which provides that one can be charged with murder if involved in a dangerous felony that provokes a killing.
Copeland was sentenced to six years in prison, though he could have faced a maximum of 11 years for the charge, according to Deputy District Attorney Sean Daugherty.
Copeland's attorney, Salvador Silva said the deal was a good turn out for his client, who should be out of prison in about two and a half years because of time already served. That's much better than the 25 years to life he was facing, Silva said.
Silva still maintains that the Copeland's crime didn't fall under provocative act doctrine because the doctrine requires for one to go above and beyond normal measures needed to commit the intended crime. His client used only force necessary to commit robbery, and he had no weapon, Silva said.
Daughtery was not able to comment further on the case as he awaits trial for Arreola and Ricardo.
Ricardo still faces murder and attempted robbery charges for Jackson's death, for which he could serve 25 years to life in prison.
Investigators found Arreola acted in self-defense and he was not charged for Jackson's death. However, Arreola was charged with planting or cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, and possession of narcotics with intent to sell. Upon investigation of the incident, police found an elaborate marijuana growth operation and evidence that he might be selling narcotics. If charged, Arreola could serve three to four years in prison, Daugherty said.
Ricardo and Arreola are set to appear in court for a readiness calendar on Feb. 15.
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