The man accused of killing an Iraqi refugee in what authorities have described as a racially motivated shooting outside a Home Depot in south Sacramento last month has denied saying in court last week that he was guilty of all charges pending against him.
In a Sunday report quoting prosecutors and a public defender, The Sacramento Bee reported that Jeffrey Caylor, 44, made a statement in Butte Superior Court that he was guilty of all charges against him in Sacramento and Butte counties.
However, in a jailhouse interview with The Bee Monday, Caylor denied making any such statement.
“I never said I was pleading guilty to any damn thing,” he said. He said he would sue The Bee reporter who wrote the story, and then abruptly ended the interview.
Caylor is accused of gunning down Hassan Alawsi, 46, in the parking lot of the Home Depot on Florin Road the evening of March 16. Caylor and his girlfriend, Kari Hamilton, were arrested in Butte County last month on suspicion of charges related to crimes before and after the homicide. Sacramento County sheriff’s detectives later obtained a warrant for Caylor’s arrest in connection with the shooting, and he was transferred to Sacramento County and booked on suspicion of murder, among other charges.
Hamilton also was transferred, and booked on suspicion of robbery, burglary and car theft.
Detectives allege that Caylor did not know Alawsi, but stalked him in the store’s parking lot for eight minutes before fatally shooting him. They allege that Caylor had a strong disdain for people of Middle Eastern descent, and saw Alawsi walk out of Home Depot with his sister, who was wearing a Muslim head covering. Though authorities have said the crime was racially motivated, prosecutors are not yet treating it as a hate crime.