Printer Friendly

FELON CLAIMS SELF-DEFENSE IN SIMI VALLEY FIGHT, DEATH.

Byline: Don Holland Daily News Staff Writer

A parolee was the target and not the aggressor in a confrontation last fall that now has him facing a murder charge in the shooting death of a Simi Valley machinist, his defense attorney said Wednesday.

Defendant Thomas Shanti Blanks, 25, fired a .22 caliber pistol in self-defense after John Stephen Regos attacked him following a Sept. 3 brawl outside the MVP Sports Bar in Simi Valley, defense attorney Joe Villasana said.

``This was a case where my client was trying to defuse a potentially dangerous situation,'' Villasana said during his opening statement in Blanks' murder trial. ``He thought the situation had been defused when he turned his back and Regos attacks him. . . . The point is, my client was trying to run away.''

The prosecution opened its case with testimony from Regos' girlfriend, Patty Steck, who described what transpired as the couple walked home after the fight at the MVP.

Blanks, 25, and another man drove up as the couple neared the Shell gas station at First Street and Los Angeles Avenue, Steck said, and the defendant took a confrontational stance.

``I don't even know if they exchanged words,'' Steck said. ``Then John went over there and they fought.''

Steck said she heard five pops that sounded like gunfire, but assumed Regos was unhurt because the men continued to fight.

``I saw that they were still fighting, and I figured that if it was gunshots, that (Regos) was OK,'' Steck said. ``I walked over to him. I think I said, `What were those sounds? Were they gunshots?' He said, `Yes, I've been shot.'

``While we were walking up (to gas station entrance), he was getting weaker and weaker,'' Steck continued. ``He reached out with one hand like he was reaching for the door handle or to brace himself on the wall. And then he fell down.''

Blanks, who was on parole for auto theft, is charged with second-degree murder, a special allegation of use of a firearm and being a felon in possession of a gun. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 22, 1999
Words:356
Previous Article:BEHIND THE BOSS; EXECUTIVES BUY LUNCH FOR VIPS: OWN ASSISTANTS.
Next Article:TWO VIE FOR SCHOOLS POST.


Related Articles
DEFENSE LAWYER BLAMES VICTIM FOR OWN DEATH.
FELON GUILTY OF MURDER IN '98 FIGHT.
IS IT KILL OR BE KILLED?; JUSTIFIED HOMICIDES DO NOT LACK IMPACT.
MAN CHARGED IN BREAKING, SLEEPING.
BRIEFLY : FELON DENIES GUILT IN SIMI MAN'S KILLING.
DESPITE RATINGS, TOWNS NOT FREE OF HOMICIDES.
LAW ENFORCEMENT BACKS AREA'S SAFETY RECORD;.
SIMI VALLEY: BRIEFLY : SINGLE TRIAL ORDERED IN DEATH OF GIRL, 2.
JUDGE CANCELS POLICE SESSION.
TOP STORIES OF 1997: '97 YEAR OF UPS, DOWNS IN SIMI; SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT, RADIATION FEARS, NUDE CLUB AMONG CITY'S TOP STORIES.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters