A Fresno man was found guilty Friday of second-degree murder in the shooting death of an unarmed man over a child custody dispute in July 2017.
James Ryan Dean, 26, faces 60 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in Fresno Superior Court on Nov. 8.
The killing happened in the 1200 block of East Vassar Avenue in a neighborhood north of Fresno City College. Jurors ruled that Dean used a gun to to kill 43-year-old Augustine Velasco Jr. during the early evening hours of July 8, 2017.
Testimony in the trial said Velasco was trying to help his daughter retrieve her baby from Velasco’s ex-wife. Dean, the boyfriend of Velasco’s ex-wife, got into an argument with Velasco before shooting him once in the stomach.
Defense attorney Kojo Moore contended that Dean shot Velasco because Velasco had taken off his T-shirt and was about to attack Dean.
Dean has a prior conviction for residential burglary in 2013. He also has two pending charges for possessing a weapon in the Fresno County Jail.