Sacramento County prosecutors will seek the death penalty for accused cop killer Anton Lemon Paris in the September shooting death of a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy and the wounding of a second deputy at a Rancho Cordova auto parts store.
Sacramento County district attorney’s prosecutors announced their intent in a two-paragraph motion Friday morning before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman. Paris faces four counts in the Sept. 17 shooting that killed Deputy Mark Stasyuk, 27, and wounded his partner, Deputy Julie Robertson, 28, along with a store employee: felony murder, attempted murder and felon in possession of a firearm – a .40-caiiber handgun. Paris also faces a special allegation of killing a peace officer in the line of duty.
The Friday announcement, little more than two weeks after prosecutors committed to seeking death for East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer suspect Joseph DeAngelo, 73, ignores Gov. Gavin Newsom’s moratorium on capital punishment. But Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and other prosecutors have previously argued that Newsom’s moratorium has no impact on their ability to seek death penalty sentences.
Paris is accused of killing Stasyuk at close range after the young deputy and partner Robertson responded to a Rancho Cordova Pep Boys where storekeepers said Paris was threatening employees and knocking items off shelves.
The deputies took gunfire almost as soon as they entered the building. The shots came from behind a service counter, the first rounds hitting store employee Arturo Nolasco in the back. Nolasco and a second employee were able to crawl to safety.
As Stasyuk entered the store, Robertson closed in on the gunman, later identified as Paris, a 38-year-old convicted felon with a lengthy criminal history on both sides of the Sacramento River, a man who lived a chaotic life filled with guns.
Stasyuk was shot twice during the rapid-fire gunbattle as he tried to seek cover and return fire – once in the back, then in the back of the head. Robertson was shot in the arm but continued to return fire, render aid to her wounded partner and place herself between the gunman and the customers who couldn’t escape the store, sheriff’s officials would later say.
“This was a firefight and it was an extensive one,” Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones would say in the days after the shooting.
Paris was shot multiple times and seriously wounded in the firefight. He was hospitalized for a time before he was deemed well enough to be jailed and face a judge in a courtroom. His September arraignment, 10 days after the shooting, was conducted in his hospital room.
Paris is scheduled to return to Sacramento Superior Court on May 17 – exactly eight months after the shooting that felled Stasyuk.