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By Henry K. Lee
The San Francisco Chronicle

VALLEJO, Calif. - A Vallejo man was convicted today of voluntary manslaughter and a weapons charge but acquitted of murder in the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend, an off-duty Richmond police officer.
Quartus Hinton, 29, a parolee with a lengthy criminal record, was accused of killing Kaliah Harper on Nov. 24, 2006. The Solano County jury of eight women and four men deliberated more than three days in Vallejo before reaching its verdict this morning.
Prosecutors had charged Hinton with murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait, which could have resulted in a death sentence. But the jury found Hinton not guilty of murder and instead convicted him of voluntary manslaughter.
Judge Allan Carter is scheduled to sentence Hinton on Aug. 22. He could face up to 38 years in prison.
Harper, 28, of Suisun City, was shot numerous times with a .45-caliber handgun outside a memorial at the Fairfield Community Center for two young cousins of Hinton who were killed in a car crash the week before.
Police believe Hinton shot Harper because she had broken up with him. Hinton also told police that Harper had threatened him, saying, "I could put you away for life," and that he "got fed up with it," according to videotaped interviews with detectives.
Hinton admitted that he had stolen a friend's gun and ammunition and shot Harper because he believed she had found out about his complaints about her to the Richmond police, according to court testimony. Those complaints were never substantiated, authorities said.
Hinton's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Michael Ogul, said today that the verdict supported Hinton's assertion that Harper was trying to kill him that day and had reached into her purse for what he thought was a gun. Police, however, did not find a gun.
"At least three jurors believed that Mr. Hinton was reasonable in his belief, and that they were voting for a complete acquittal as of last night," Ogul said, adding, "I'm disappointed that Mr. Hinton was not acquitted completely."
In ordering Hinton tried for murder after a preliminary hearing last year, Carter called Hinton's statements about Harper's alleged threats "self-serving" and misleading.
Hinton also told police in a videotaped interview played in court that "there's no excuse for what I did. I was at my wit's end."
In another interview played in court, Hinton said, "I was so overwhelmed by jealousy. I was out of my mind. Jealousy threw me over the edge." He said he was remorseful for what he called a "foolish mistake."
A witness testified that she had heard two shots in the community center parking, then had seen Hinton shoot Harper repeatedly as she lay on the ground. He drove off, but was seen by two women dumping a handgun in a storm drain less than half a mile away, police said.
Hinton was arrested days later in a public bathroom near the Vallejo Marina after his father called Richmond police to say he was there and wanted to turn himself in.
Harper attended De Anza High School in Richmond and Cal State Sacramento before graduating at the top of her class at Napa Valley College Police Academy. Harper was promoted to the Richmond police narcotics task force while still a probationary hire. She made 350 arrests and received 12 letters of commendation praising her work.
Richmond Deputy Police Chief Ed Medina said today, "We, as a department, are very disappointed in the outcome. We were certainly hoping for something more stringent. It's a big loss to us. We are glad for a conviction, but certainly not at the level that we got today."
Medina said the department wanted to convey "continued best wishes to the Harper family."

Wire Service
 

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MassCops Angel
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121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Man who killed off duty officer isn't sorry

By Henry K. Lee
San Francisco Chronicle

VALLEJO, Calif. - An unrepentant Vallejo man insisted today that he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot his ex-girlfriend, an off-duty Richmond police officer, outside a funeral in 2006.
Quartus Hinton, 29, a parolee with a lengthy criminal record, made his case before a Solano County judge before being sentenced to 38 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter. As he began speaking in a Vallejo courtroom, the mother of Kaliah Harper, the woman he killed, turned around in her seat and covered her ears. She soon walked out.
"I'm truly a man of blood, not hatred," Hinton said. He insisted he had killed Harper because she and family members were conspiring to kill him. He offered his condolences only to relatives of Harper who were "not directly involved or in the loop" of the supposed plot.
Prosecutors had charged Hinton with murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait, which could have resulted in a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. But a Solano County jury convicted Hinton in July of voluntary manslaughter and a weapons charge.
Judge Allan Carter sentenced Hinton to 38 years in prison, eliciting a loud shout of "Yes!" from Harper's mother, Beverly Moore, who then began sobbing.
"It should have been first-degree murder," Moore said outside court. "But at least he got the maximum amount. I don't have my child and will never have her. That's it."
Harper, 28, attended De Anza High School in Richmond and Cal State Sacramento before graduating at the top of her class at Napa Valley College Police Academy. She was promoted to the Richmond police narcotics task force while still a probationary hire. She made 350 arrests and received 12 letters of commendation praising her work.
Carter sentenced Hinton after rejecting a motion by defense attorney Michael Ogul for a new trial on the grounds of juror misconduct and new evidence in the case.
To support Hinton's claim of self-defense, Ogul called Solano County jail inmate Troy Cole to the stand today. Cole testified that he was present in November 2006 when Harper gave $10,000 to a man and promised an additional $10,000 if he killed "Q," which Cole said was a reference to Hinton.
Cole refused to identify the man - even after being ordered to by the judge - saying the name was "irrelevant."
"This is a person who honestly thought he was going to be killed," Ogul told the judge, referring to Hinton.
Prosecutor Chris Pedersen said Hinton blamed everyone but himself for the killing and had shown a "complete lack of remorse" for shooting Harper on Nov. 24, 2006.
Harper, who lived in Suisun City, was shot numerous times with a .45-caliber handgun outside a memorial service at the Fairfield Community Center for two young cousins of Hinton who had been killed in a car crash the week before.
Police believe Hinton shot Harper because she broke up with him. Hinton told police that Harper had threatened him, saying, "I could put you away for life," and that he "got fed up with it," according to videotaped interviews with detectives.
Hinton said he had stolen a friend's gun and shot Harper because he believed she had learned of his complaints about her to the Richmond police, according to court testimony. Those complaints were never substantiated, authorities said.
Hinton said he had shot Harper after she reached into her purse for what he thought was a gun. Police did not find a gun.

Wire Service
 
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