Stockton – Today, District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar announced that James Brummett, Jr., age 50, was sentenced on Monday, January 13, 2020, to 19 years in state prison on the following charges Penal Code §192(a) (voluntary manslaughter) and Vehicle Code §20001(b)(2) (felony hit and run), he also admitted to having a prior strike conviction pursuant to Penal Code §192(a) and admitted to serving a prior prison term pursuant to Penal Code §667(a). Although he would normally be entitled to 15% conduct credit he waived his custody credits and will actually serve the full term.
“This should be a reminder to all that a motor vehicle can be a deadly weapon,” said District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. “Such a sad and senseless crime with a tragic result. This is office is seeing a spike in vehicular related deaths. It is unfortunate to see this trend of people intentionally using a motor vehicle to harm others.”
According to court records, on July 10, 2018, James Brummett, 49 at the time, was residing in a water pump house in Oak Park. This temporary shelter in which he chose to reside had been burglarized on several occasions. It was rumored among the park dwellers that the victim, Joe Sauceda, was the one breaking into the pump house. Mr. Sauceda and the defendant had prior bad history and run-ins with one another.
On the day in question, Mr. Brummett arrived at the water pump shed, which he called home, and saw the victim in the vicinity of the shed. He was driving a rental car and began to chase Joe Sauceda around the park. Eventually, the victim was struck by the car and pinned underneath. The defendant attempted to raise the car on a tire jack, but was unsuccessful. He fled the park when sirens approached. He was arrested on the July 13, 2018.
The defendant admitted to driving and hitting the victim, but says Mr. Sauceda was waving a large stick and attempting to hit the car when he slipped and fell. He claimed he never intended to hit Joe.
District Attorney Verber Salazar would like to thank Deputy District Attorney Robert Baysinger for bringing this case to a successful resolution.