Stephen Ellison

Trial in Fatal Shooting of Off-Duty Richmond Police Officer Goes to Jury

The murder trial of a man charged with killing an off-duty Richmond police officer in February 2016 was in the hands of a jury Monday.

Richmond police Officer Gus Vegas was shot and killed in his own home by his daughter’s former boyfriend, Robert Vega. Now, a jury must decide whether it was an act of murder or a case of a post-traumatic stress victim acting out of fear.

The 32-year-old Vega opened fire on the father of his former girlfriend in the Vegas home in Vallejo in February 2016. Vegas heard yelling in his daughter's room in the middle of the night and went in to investigate.

Vega shot the unarmed Vegas eight times, prosecutors say, firing some of the shots when Vegas was on the ground. While the prosecutors say it was murder, the defense claims Vega suffered from PTSD and thought his life was in danger.

"We just want justice to be served in whatever fashion they bring back," said Dia Maldonado, Vegas's daughter-in-law, who spoke on behalf of the family. "The jury is going to make a decision, and whatever they decide, we’re behind that."

Maldonado said it’s been a tough case because her family loved Robert Vega, and so did her father-in-law.

"He loved Gus, and Gus loved him," she said. "Whatever happens at this point is just closure for us."

The jury deliberated for about an hour Monday afternoon and will resume deliberations Tuesday morning.

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