Jurors on Wednesday acquitted a man facing murder and witness intimidation charges in the shooting death of a homeless man at a transient camp.
Investigators believed Bullock shot Proulx in the chest with a revolver wrapped in a sock. Police found it in Bullock’s backpack on April 12, the day they arrested him.
The jury deliberated for about a day before finding him not guilty of first-degree murder and a charge of dissuading a witness.
Prosecutors prevailed on one minor charge, as jurors convicted Bullock of resisting arrest. San Diego County Superior Court Judge Charles G. Rogers immediately sentenced him to a one-year term for the misdemeanor.
Officials plan to release him from custody as he served enough time in jail awaiting trial.
Bullock’s attorney, Victoria Ramirez, maintained that a man who said he witnessed the slaying actually killed Proulx.
The attorney said the witness and his wife got into an argument on April 2, 2018. The woman instructed Bullock, a boyfriend of hers before she married the witness, to search for her husband at the San Diego River. He frequently sought drugs there.
Deputy District Attorney Meghan Buckner alleged that about 1 a.m. on April 3, the witness met with Proulx. At that point Bullock approached and shot at Proulx, missing him, but killing him with a second shot.
Ramirez told jurors that the witness killed Proulx for his money and drugs. He then spread a false story implicating Bullock, who had no motive to kill Proulx.
Following his arrest, Bullock urged his family members over recorded jail calls to get the witness to “tell the real.” Ramirez called the statement a bid to clear his name, not a threat.
In the calls, Bullock also mentioned his arrest for a fatal stabbing. Ramirez said this bolstered her argument in favor of Bullock’s innocence.
San Diego police initially announced that Proulx died of stab wounds. A subsequent autopsy revealed he had been shot, according to trial testimony.
Detective Sgt. Duane Malinowski testified that the department withheld that information so any witness reports about a shooting would be confirmed as legitimate.
The witness told police that Bullock shot Proulx, and described the revolver later found on Bullock. Ballistics testing, however, did not conclusively match the bullet that killed Proulx to the gun.
– City News Service
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