Office of the District Attorney - Maggie Fleming, District Attorney
July 28, 2015
On July 27, 2015, in the case of the People of the State of California v. Benjamin Carter, the jury found the defendant guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The defendant admitted a special allegation that he had previously been convicted of a strike under California's Three Strikes law.
The charge arose from incidents that occurred on April 16, 2014. On that day, the defendant obtained a shotgun from Zackery Chapman. Later, Mr. Chapman attempted to get the shotgun back from the defendant; Mr. Chapman was armed with a pistol when he arrived at the defendant Carter's location in Southern Humboldt. Mr. Chapman pointed the pistol at several people, including the defendant, who was holding the shotgun. The defendant fired one shot at Mr. Chapman, killing him. Although the defendant was initially charged with murder, it was ultimately determined that the shooting was justified.
In addition to three civilian witnesses, Investigator Cheryl Franco of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department testified at the trial.