Jason Micah Felder picked up his pistol as soon as the 10-day waiting period expired. Then he drove to his parents’ North Natomas home and told his mother he needed to speak to his father in private. He poured himself a drink.
When his father came down the stairs to see him in the family room, Felder set down his Bacardi and orange juice, pulled his .357 handgun out of his waistband and shot his father in the right shoulder, the upper left arm and the right side of his head, killing him instantly.
With his mother screaming hysterically, Felder called 911 to report the shooting in the 2100 block of Peakview Avenue. The dispatcher asked him why he did it.
“This isn’t time for therapy,” Felder said, according to a court transcript. “Just bring the police.”
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Felder, 24, pleaded guilty last Wednesday to second-degree murder in the May 7, 2012, shooting death of his father, Victor M. Felder, 60. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Allen H. Sumner scheduled the sentencing for Oct. 25. Felder is facing a prison term of 40 years to life.
The defendant, who worked as a warehouseman for a firm in West Sacramento, told police his father was a horrible person who physically abused him and his two older brothers when they were teenagers and that he verbally abused them all as grown-ups.
“If you had dealt with him his whole life, you probably would have shot him, too,” Felder told detectives the day of the killing.
Felder purchased the weapon he used to kill his father for $318 at the Just Guns shop on Watt Avenue and Auburn Boulevard, according to a trial brief filed by Deputy District Attorney Eric Kindall. During the 10-day waiting period, Felder quit his job at Pitco Foods in West Sacramento and had arranged to give his car to a cousin, according to the DA’s court papers.
A woman who answered the phone at the slain man’s home Monday said the family would have no comment on the case. Victor Felder had been married to his wife for 39 years and had a daughter and two other sons besides Jason.
The DA said in his trial brief that an older brother of Felder’s confirmed that their dad was tough on them and that he did hit them with the belt. Jason Felder, however, “was given everything” while growing up and had less reason to be angry at the man he killed, according to the older son’s account to the DA.
“It’s just a sad state of affairs,” defense attorney James Warden said Monday.
Warden said Felder agreed to plead guilty because “he didn’t want the family to go through this any longer than necessary.” His client “is willing to do his time,” the lawyer said, and “was perfectly willing” to plead guilty.
“I’m sure (the family) has a lot of anger toward Jason,” Warden said, “but they also must have said something to the DA that would have allowed the DA to make that kind of offer,” referring to the deal for a guilty plea of second-degree murder instead of a potential first-degree trial.
Kindall, who as a personal policy does not comment on his cases, could not be reached late Monday afternoon.
Felder has no Sacramento Superior Court record and told police he had never been arrested in his life before the day he shot and killed his father. He also told detectives it had been at least six years since his father hit him. Still, he said, it was his view that his father “was angry all the time,” he said.
When he spoke to the 911 operator, Felder said, “There’s horrible people. So, some people, they just deserve it. Obviously, I’m one of them, too. So I’ll get what I deserve, but I just made sure he got his.”
Felder told the detectives who interviewed him the day of the killing that even though he had a job, he’d been living in his car and that he’d rather sleep on the street than live under the same roof as his father.
Working 60 hours a week on the graveyard shift, by his own estimate, Felder said he didn’t mind sleeping in the car during the cooler months, but that when the weather warmed up, he baked during the day. Before the murder, he said he went four days without any sleep.
“You’re just like dying in there,” Felder told the detectives, according to the transcripts. “And then being in all that heat, it did make me crazy.”
In the car, in the heat, Felder said he thought about “doing all that suffering” while his father was “still here.”
“I just came to the point where I’d rather be locked up than living the way I was living,” he said.
Felder said he doesn’t do drugs, but “I wish I could have finished the drink before I called.”
“People just snap, I guess,” he told the detectives.