Manslaughter Verdict in Richmond Police Officer’s Fatal Shooting

Murder trial now enters sanity phase, where same jury could find defendant not guilty by reason of insanity

NBC Bay Area

A 32-year-old man was found guilty of manslaughter instead of murder Tuesday in the February 2016 fatal shooting of an off-duty Richmond police officer.

The jury's decision in Contra Costa County court sends the case against Robert Vega into a sanity phase beginning Wednesday, during which the same jury could find him not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting of Officer Gus Vegas inside Vegas's home in Vallejo.

Vega, a former boyfriend of Vegas' daughter, shot Vegas eight times inside the officer's own home. Defense attorneys had said Vega suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and feared for his life when Vegas confronted him after hearing screams from his daughter's bedroom.

Vegas was unarmed, prosecutors said.

Vegas's daughter-in-law, Dia Maldonado, provided a statement Tuesday on behalf of the family.

"The case was presented, and we respect the jurors' decision," Maldonado said. "We will have to wait and see how this next portion of the trial goes. There is still a lot that needs to be determined. But at least we now have an opportunity to start our healing process."

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