Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cold comfort

Salas guilty of murder - Grant Scott-Goforth/The Times-Standard

Ryan Anthony Salas showed little emotion, shaking his head softly at times, as a jury Friday found him guilty of the 2010 shotgun slaying of Jack Dale Sovereign.

Salas -- also convicted Friday on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, conspiracy to commit burglary, and conspiracy to commit robbery -- was one of four defendants implicated in Sovereign's death.

Prosecutors alleged that Salas, Nathan Nix, Katrina Inong and Sonia Hunsucker conspired to commit a home invasion robbery targeting a safe at a Santa Clara Street home on the outskirts of Eureka. The robbery attempt was thwarted, according to prosecutors, when the four arrived to find Sovereign sitting in a pickup truck in the home's driveway.

At that point, witness accounts seem to vary, but prosecutors have stated their belief that Nix, Inong and Hunsucker were abandoning the robbery attempt when Salas, armed with a shotgun, approached Sovereign and shot him in the face.

...Inong pleaded guilty to a voluntary manslaughter charge in December 2010.

...Hunsucker had agreed to testify as part of a deal with prosecutors, but after pleading guilty to an unrelated killing -- the second degree murder of Darrell Hanger in Willow Creek in 2011 -- and receiving a sentence of 15 years to life in prison, Hunsucker refused to testify.

...Nix ...reached a plea agreement... faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison for the voluntary manslaughter charge.

And so justice is done.