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SALSA-SLAYER GETS 11 YEARS BEHIND BARS SHOPLIFTER THREW A BOTTLE, CAUSING MAN'S BRAIN INJURY.



Byline: KAREN MAESHIRO

Staff Writer

LANCASTER -- A 19-year-old Lancaster man has been ordered to serve 11 years in prison for throwing a bottle of salsa that fatally fa·tal·ly  
adv.
1. So as to cause death; mortally: fatally injured.

2. So as to result in disaster or ruin.

3. According to the decree of fate; inevitably.

Adv. 1.
 injured in·jure  
tr.v. in·jured, in·jur·ing, in·jures
1. To cause physical harm to; hurt.

2. To cause damage to; impair.

3.
 a volunteer collecting donations for the homeless.

The case of Joseph Peterson started out as a relatively minor affair when he was accused of stealing M&Ms and Twizzlers from a discount store.

When Peterson fled with the candy, Charles Hairston, a 51-year-old homeless-group volunteer, tried to stop him, sheriff's officials said. Peterson threw the bottle, hitting him in the head. Hairston died three weeks later.

Peterson pleaded no contest Wednesday to voluntary manslaughter The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page.
 after prosecutors agreed to dismiss a charge of murder. He was sentenced to 11 years.

"It's probably a fair resolution on the matter," Deputy District Attorney Bernie LaForteza said.

Peterson's attorney, Tyson Beers, said there was no malice malice, in law, an intentional violation of the law of crimes or torts that injures another person. Malice need not involve a malignant spirit or the definite intent to do harm.  or intent to kill on his client's part.

"We think it's a good resolution," Beers said. "Getting it down from second-degree murder to voluntary manslaughter is pretty good and a pretty big jump."

Hairston, a Lancaster resident, was outside a 99 Cents Only store July 14, 2006, collecting donations when Peterson, his girlfriend and another couple went inside the store, prosecutors said.

Employees saw them taking candy and tried to stop them. Peterson drove away, nearly hitting an employee who was trying to write down the license plate number, prosecutors said.

Hairston then pushed a shopping cart into the car to stop it and a fight followed that carried into the store. Peterson threw items at Hairston, hitting him in the head with the salsa.

Peterson was arrested, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor burglary and assault with a deadly weapon Assault with a Deadly Weapon is the term used to describe the act of threatening to harm one or more people by using a weapon (usually a firearm). Here, assault must be differentiated from battery as they are often confused. Assault is threatening to use force. , and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years' probation.

But three days after the incident, Hairston went to a hospital complaining of a headache. Doctors diagnosed a subdural hematoma Subdural Hematoma Definition

A subdural hematoma is a collection of blood in the space between the outer layer (dura) and middle layers of the covering of the brain (the meninges).
, or bruising bruising

discoloration and actual hemorrhage at the site of injury, and a serious disadvantage in the meat trade. In the first 12 hours after injury the bruise is bright red, at 24 hours it is dark red, at 24 to 36 hours it loses its firm consistency and becomes watery and at 3 or
 inside his head, and Hairston underwent surgery on July 20. He died of complications Aug. 2 and the murder charge was filed.

karen.maeshiro(at)dailynews.com

(661) 476-4586
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 28, 2007
Words:342
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