The attorney for a Chico man on trial for fatally shooting his grandfather for financial gain told Sonoma County jurors this afternoon they should not rule out the possibility the shooting was an accident.Chris Andrian also told the panel the prosecution’s financial gain theory is in doubt because his client Sean Patrick Mooney had financial resources that were not dependent on his grandfather’s death. Mooney, 21, is charged with fatally shooting 77-year-old Robert Ferris Deming with a 12-gauge shotgun in his Schellville home on May 20, 2008. Deputy District Attorney Traci Carrillo told the jury the killing was a cold, calculated first-degree murder for financial gain.Mooney was unemployed, obsessed with his girlfriend Brandy Hance and desperate for money because he and Hance had to move out of his parents’ Chico home where they were living rent free, Carrillo said. Hance already had one child and became pregnant again three days before the murder, Carrillo said. Mooney’s mother Susan stood to inherit her father’s (Deming’s) property after his death and Mooney would have received half that inheritance when his mother died, according to Carrillo.Mooney was considering living in a camper on Deming’s property, Carrillo said.”Grandpa was a means to an end,” Carrillo said during her closing statement.Carrillo said Mooney showed no remorse over his grandfather’s death and was concerned only about his and Hance’s welfare. “As soon as I am out of jail I will think and feel all you like,” Mooney told his mother during a recorded conversation after the murder that was played in court.Carrillo said Deming was executed as he sat in the rocking chair that was again present in the courtroom for the closing statements. The shotgun was only two to four inches from his head, Carrillo said. Mooney told sheriff’s investigators two intruders broke into the home and killed his grandfather, then told his mother the shooting was an accident that happened during his attempt to prevent what he thought was his grandfather’s suicide attempt, Carrillo said.”I went to throw it and the f—ing thing went off,” Mooney says during the recorded conversation with his mother from the jail.Carrillo said six or seven pounds of pressure are needed to pull the shotgun’s trigger and the shooting was no accident.Mooney also said his grandfather had a shotgun and told him to buy shells for it so they could go shooting. He also said his grandfather gave it to him then took it away before he loaded it and gave it back to him, Carrillo said. Mooney actually bought the stolen shotgun in Chico three weeks before the murder and Hance bought the shells for it in Chico the morning of the murder, Carrillo said.Andrian told the jury Mooney and his grandfather were close companions and he had no reason to kill Deming.”No one has suggested my client had anything but love for his grandfather. He was one of the most important people in his life,” Andrian said. “If they can’t prove this was for financial gain, they have no motive,” Andrian said arguing against first- and second-degree murder.Mooney went to his grandfather’s house, where his parents were staying, on May 20, 2008, to fix some sprinklers and to tell his mother Hance was living with him in the Chico house, Andrian said. “How was killing his grandfather going to get his mother to give him money,” Andrian asked.Mooney’s parents would not let their son be out on the street after they sold the Chico home and Mooney had a $3,700 IRA account, Andrian said. “Are we at the point where we’re so desperate we’re killing
someone we love,” Andrian asked.The jury will consider whether the killing was first- or second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter that can include an accidental, excused homicide. Mooney is also charged with elder abuse and receiving stolen property.The jury begins deliberations Friday morning.
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