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Supporters rally behind Turlock man convicted of shooting trespasser
Robin Boyer
Robin Boyer

Community members familiar with the criminal case against Robin Boyer are banding together to assist the Turlock man’s family with expenses related to his legal bills and money to help his family stay in their home.

With more than a thousand supporters behind the grassroots effort, organizers are hoping to assist Boyer’s wife Debi as she tries to navigate the financial hardship after Boyer was sentenced to prison for seven years for the death of Brandon Pacheco.

“With the future uncertain for the Boyers, your support in this critical time would give the hardworking family a hand up, not a hand out,” organizers stated in their news release.

Boyer, 62, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the death of Pacheco on July 23, 2013. The Stanislaus County jury also convicted Boyer of two felony counts of assault with a firearm. All the convictions have enhancements of using a firearm.

Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Ricardo Cordova sentenced Boyer to three years in state prison for the involuntary manslaughter conviction and four years for the gun enhancement. Boyer also was sentenced to seven years for the two assault with a firearm convictions, but that sentence will be served concurrently with the other sentence.

The shooting occurred shortly before 8 a.m. July 23, 2013 on a berm near Boyer’s home in the 1100 block of Dianne Drive in Turlock. Both Boyer’s home and that of his mother, which is next door, had been the scene of recent thefts. Boyer told Turlock Police investigators that he spotted a man, later identified as Pacheco, on his property that morning and that he went to retrieve his shotgun and a cell phone. Boyer confronted Pacheco on the dirt berm Boyer said Pacheco told him "I'm not thieving” and moved to get on his motorbike. Boyer said he ordered Pacheco to get on the ground, but instead Pacheco revved the motorbike, so Boyer fired a warning shot, which he said went into the ground, but actually struck one of the motorbike’s tires.

Boyer fired a second shot that he claimed was aimed over Pacheco’s head. Pacheco had turned away from Boyer and was struck by five shotgun pellets in the back and head. Dr. Sungook Baik, a forensic pathologist that performed the autopsy on Pacheco, testified that based on the injuries, it likely would have been between 10 to 20 minutes before Pacheco died. He also testified that the methamphetamine in Pacheco’s system could have hastened his death by a few minutes or seconds. He stated Pacheco likely would have lived had he gotten immediate medical attention.

He said Boyer’s lack of a criminal record held great sway, but he also had to account for the five shots that hit Pacheco in the back and his head, along with having a familiarity with the weapon, and never using his phone to call 911 or even check on Pacheco.

During the trial the defense stated Boyer’s actions were motivated out of self-defense and fear of what Pacheco might do to him and to his family, especially to his elderly mother who would be alone on the property at times.

Boyer’s family submitted a petition to the judge and multiple letters requesting he be shown some leniency.

The grassroots organization looking to raise funds for the Boyer family described the events as a “tragic situation” that occurred while Boyer was “protecting his property and family.”

Pacheco’s family had also submitted their own requests for justice to be served for Brandon and questioned why Boyer felt it was necessary to kill him over some old batteries left in his field.  In their victim impact statements they called Boyer “an angry person” that “decided to take the law into his own hands.”

Those wishing to contribute to the Boyer family can do so at any F&M Bank to: Robin Boyer Family Fund, Account #0757490801.