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Jury comes back with guilty verdict for Deputy Wallace's killer
david machado
David Machado

A Stanislaus County jury has found a Keyes man guilty of gunning down Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputy Dennis Wallace more than four years ago. Now, that same jury will have to decide if the defendant was sane at the time of the shooting.

On Monday the jury found David Machado guilty of first-degree murder for the slaying of Wallace on Nov. 13, 2016. He also was convicted of two counts of carjacking, attempted carjacking and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office.

On the morning of Nov. 13, 2016, Wallace pulled into the Fox Grove Fishing Access at 1000 Geer Road in Hughson in his patrol car to check on a suspicious vehicle call. Wallace called into dispatch about a suspicious van at the scene and was quickly informed that the vehicle had been reported stolen and that the suspect in the theft was believed to be Machado, who also was believed to be armed, according to the sheriff’s department. Wallace made a request for a second unit to come to the scene. Within seconds of that request Wallace was gunned down by Machado.

Dispatch tried to make contact with Wallace multiple times, but got no response. Sheriff’s Deputy Christian Torres out of Waterford arrived at the scene and found Wallace on the ground shot. Lifesaving efforts were initiated and Wallace was rushed to a nearby hospital, but medical personnel were unable to save him and he was pronounced dead. The sheriff's department said at the time that Wallace had been shot twice in the head.

Machado had fled the scene in the stolen van and shortly thereafter carjacked an individual in Keyes.

The manhunt for Machado had spread through the county and information, including his picture, distinctive tattoos and the stolen vehicle were shared with law enforcement around the state.

About four hours after the shooting, Machado tried to carjack a woman in the city of Lindsay, but she was able to get away and called 911.

Lindsay Police officers located Machado around 12:33 p.m. Sunday. Machado had fled to a residential alleyway, where he was contacted by Lindsay Police officers and surrendered without incident.

A little more than two months after Machado's arrest, a Stanislaus County Superior Court judge ruled him mentally unfit to stand trial and ordered mental health treatment until a time when Machado would be able to assist in his own defense.

Once the trial began, Machado entered two concurrent pleas — one of not guilty and one of not guilty be reason of insanity. With the guilty phase determined, on Thursday the jury will begin the phase to determine Machado's sanity at the time of the shooting.