Crime

Police killing case still pursued

Fresno County prosecutors say they recently received results of forensic tests in the case of a former Fresno police officer who fatally shot his brother in 2005, and will soon decide whether to file charges against him.

Assistant District Attorney Bob Ellis would not say what evidence has been tested in the case of Louie Sanchez, only describing it as "physical evidence." The state Department of Justice sent the results to Fresno County within the past two or three weeks, he said.

Ellis also said that investigators have been conducting follow-up interviews with numerous people, but he could not say whether Sanchez was one of them.

Sanchez shot and killed his brother, 34-year-old Arthur "Artie" Sanchez Jr., in the living room of his northwest Fresno house in April 2005, according to police. The 11 1/2-year police veteran was off-duty at the time and was arrested on suspicion of murder after he called police to report the shooting.

But the District Attorney's Office chose not to file charges against him at the time. Sanchez was released from jail. He was fired from the Police Department because his behavior was "unacceptable and illegal," Police Chief Jerry Dyer wrote in a letter.

Ellis said a prosecutor should complete a final review of the case in the next three or four weeks.

Sanchez's attorney, Mark Coleman, said Thursday that he did not know of the progress in the case.

"They have not kept us in the loop at all," Coleman said.

Coleman said he was aware that prosecutors were doing a follow-up investigation. He also said that the Sanchez family wishes that the case would "just stay closed. They feel [they have] been through enough. They're comfortable that he hasn't done anything wrong."

Coleman and Sanchez's family have said that the shooting was in self-defense, and that Artie Sanchez, troubled by methamphetamine abuse, had armed himself with a knife during a confrontation between the brothers.

Coleman said Louie Sanchez is still living in Fresno, with a job of delivering auto supplies.

"Louie's still trying to get his life back together," his lawyer said.

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