Skip to main content

Paradise, CA -- In a rare semblance of justice, a cop who shot and killed an unarmed man for no reason as he climbed from a wrecked car, was found guilty on Tuesday. For shooting and killing 26-year-old Andrew Thomas, officer Patrick Feaster was found guilty Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter.

Last Thanksgiving, Thomas made a deadly decision to get behind the wheel after he'd been drinking. With his 23-year-old wife, Darien Ehorn in the passenger's seat, Thomas left the Canteena Bar and was immediately pursued by Feaster.

In a pursuit that barely lasted a minute, Thomas loses control of his Toyota Four-Runner, hit the median and flipped over. Tragically, Ehorn was ejected from the vehicle and died on the scene.

Officer Feaster then gets out of his vehicle, gun drawn, and as Thomas attempts to get out of the vehicle, in a likely attempt to check on his wife, the cop shoots him in the neck. Weeks later, Thomas would die from the gunshot wounds.

Thomas posed absolutely no threat to the officer who was 10-20 feet away from Thomas when he fired. There was no possible way the department could spin the shooting into Feaster somehow fearing for his life. So, they did something entirely different.

They claimed it was an accident.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey announced in December that Feaster would not face any charges, claiming that Feaster's gun merely "went off" when it struck Thomas in the neck.

If this truly were an accidental shooting, Feaster would have probably reported firing his gun. But that didn' happen.

When backup arrived on the scene, Feaster said nothing of discharging his firearm. For 11 minutes, Thomas lay bleeding out in the vehicle before anyone even found the shot.

Only when the commanding officer on the scene suggested an investigator return to the Canteena to find out if Thomas had been shot at the bar did Feaster reveal he'd pulled the trigger.

According to Ramsey, there were multiple factors investigators used to determine the shooting to be accidental, conveniently ignoring the fact that Feaster tried to cover it up.

Ramsey, in some weird play on words, said the evidence shows the shooting to be accidental, and possibly negligent, but not criminally so. “This shooting is not justified, but also not criminal."

Scroll to Continue

Recommended for You

He then went on to describe things that are not at all present in the video, such as Feaster being "surprised by the gun's firing."

“The dash cam video shows Officer Feaster was not prepared for and was surprised by the guns firing. The pistol discharges in mid-stride and the officer both flinches his head to the right and does a stutter step indicative of an officer not prepared for nor intentionally firing his pistol. Additionally, officers normally train to fire a minimum of two shots. There was no second shot and the officer immediately holstered his weapon after the discharge.”

The flinch and the step were not present, and, there was no need to fire a second shot as Thomas collapsed back into the vehicle immediately after the first one.

In spite of these initial attempts by the DA to let Feaster off scot free, he had a change of heart when met with serious backlash from protesters and Feaster was finally charged and tried.

The jury of seven men and five women returned the verdict after one day of deliberations. The guilty verdict was read just before noon Tuesday.

"Going through it, it was like we were just going through a fog and it was just so much being thrown at us," one of Thomas' younger sisters, Elisabeth Woodward said to KRCTV, adding, "I'm so glad that he was found guilty." Another sister, Cassandra Roller said, "{I'm} Very glad he was found guilty! Extremely happy,"

Ramsey said he was pleased, too, according to the report. "We're grateful that the jury, in this case, found the just verdict and the just verdict was of course, finding him guilty of the involuntary manslaughter. "It's also validation of the standard that we should have in our county, as well as the nation that such shooting is... someone will be held accountable for and Mr. Feaster was held accountable," said Ramsey.

The defense, however, was not sharing in the joy. "I'm in utter shock and disbelief by this jury's verdict. We're quite frankly appalled by it," said Paul Goyette, Patrick Feaster's attorney. "We're gonna try to understand it, get as much information as we can over the coming days and evaluate all of our options, but it's extraordinarily disappointing. Patrick, our client, is devastated by it. I think it's clearly the wrong decision."

According to Feaster's attorney, Feaster should have been able to kill Thomas and not face any consequences. Even if it was truly an accident, that defense is worthless as this cop's negligence still led to the needless loss of life.

Feaster now faces the possibility of five years behind bars when he is sentenced in December.

[author title="" image=""]Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter and now on Steemit[/author]