The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office filed voluntary manslaughter charges on Monday, July 16 against Justin Wall for the 2017 shooting of Evin Olsen Yadegar. Wall was a Stanislaus County Sheriff and on duty at the time of the shooting.
On Feb. 26, 2017, Stanislaus County Sheriffs’ Deputies were dispatched to a Modesto-area Hampton Inn, regarding a battery. There, a description was given of suspect who turned out to be Mrs. Yadegar. She was located driving her Volkswagen sedan. When a deputy attempted to pull Yadegar over, she failed to stop and led the deputy, and eventually other law enforcement officers, on a slow speed pursuit that wound its way up to the City of Ripon. Deputy Wall was in one of the pursing vehicles.
Ripon Police joined in the pursuit once Yadegar entered the city. The slow pursuit found its way to a neighborhood off Main Street where, for several moments, Yadegar’s car stopped. During an attempt to extricate Yadegar from her car, she drove off again. At that time, Wall fired four shots at Yadegar.
None of the other officers at the scene fired their weapons.
Life-saving measures were conducted by the officers at the scene until emergency medical personal arrived. Yadegar was pronounced dead when she arrived at the hospital. She had succumbed to a single fatal wound.
The Officer Involved Critical Incident Protocol was invoked by the Ripon Police Department. The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office dispatched its investigators as well as a prosecutor designated to oversee these incidents. In addition, the San Joaquin County Coroner and the California Department of Justice were also notified and became part of the Protocol Task Force.
After the initial investigation, a follow-up investigation was conducted by the District Attorney’s Investigators. After a thorough review of the reports, including an analysis of the dash-cam video, District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar authorized the filing of a charge of felony voluntary manslaughter.
The relevant definition of voluntary manslaughter is the specific intent to kill a person under an honest but unreasonable belief in self-defense also known as an imperfect self-defense.
“Law enforcement is a virtuous calling, and most of the women and men who answer the calling do so honorably, inspiring trust and protecting the safety of our communities. I have seen up close the commitment to public service by those who risk their lives on our behalf,” said San Joaquin District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. “The responsibility to enforce the law brings with it an unflinching duty to follow its commands. No one is above the law. When individuals we entrust to uphold the law engage in acts that result in the death of others it is our duty to investigate those cases thoroughly, fairly and with due regard for the rule of law our office – and our partners in law enforcement – are sworn to uphold.”
Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson released a statement following the announcement from the San Joaquin DA’s office.
“This is a tragic event for the Yadegar family, Deputy Wall, the Sheriff’s Office and our community,” said Sheriff Christianson. “At this point, it is inappropriate for us to comment further. We are confident that our system of justice will determine the appropriate outcome.”
Deputy Wall was placed on administrative leave Monday.