Man pleads not guilty in assault, weapon case
Nov. 27, 2012 — On Tuesday, Nov. 20, Joseph Allen Seabourn, 20, of Susanville was arraigned and he pleaded not guilty to three felony charges of alleged assault with a deadly weapon, negligently discharging a firearm and shooting at an inhabited dwelling. Serious bodily injury enhancements were also denied.
Seabourn was arrested after an alleged incident on Buffum Lane in July that involved a stabbing and a shooting that sent one man to Banner Lassen Medical Center (BLMC) and the alleged stabbing victim to Renown Medical Center in Reno, Nev.
An infant also sustained minor injuries and was transported to BLMC for treatment and was released.
After an October preliminary hearing, Seabourn was held to answer to felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon and negligently discharging a firearm. The third charge of allegedly shooting at an inhabited dwelling was also added.
During the arraignment, Lassen County District Attorney Bob Burns said he had brief conversations with Seabourn’s attorney, Stephen King, and he is looking forward to receiving information regarding the case and suggestions as to why the charges aren’t founded.
He said, “It is a very important case, certainly for (Seabourn).”
The matter was set for a dispositional conference at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11.
According to court documents, James Brown III, the alleged shooting victim, testified during the preliminary hearing that he and a friend went to Seabourn’s residence in the morning of July 18. His friend went inside a home, later described as an apartment-type building on the property.
Later, Brown went inside the house and his friend was standing on one side of the door holding her baby, while another man, identified as Michael Spillers, was on the right side.
Brown alleged Spillers grabbed a bb gun and he was shot in the head. He said the bb is still there. After being shot, Brown said he grabbed Spillers and they started fighting for about 30 to 40 seconds and during that time Seabourn and Brown’s father, Dave Pacheco, started attacking him.
During cross-examination, the defense questioned Brown about a report he made to law enforcement about allegedly using a knife as brass knuckles.
Brown said he was able to leave the residence and got in his car where his friend and baby were, but the car wouldn’t start. He alleged Seabourn started breaking all the windows in the vehicle.
He testified his friend and her baby got out of the car because it was too much for the child. Brown was then able to get his car started, and he drove down the street, but then noticed his friend wasn’t in the road anymore.
Brown said he drove back and saw people by Spiller’s door and alleged Seabourn, Spillers as well as Dave Pacheco and Spillers mother, Brandi Pacheco, were coming toward him. Although later, he testified he wasn’t sure Spillers was part of the group.
He said he put his hands up and put the car in reverse. Then the axle dropped, and the car wouldn’t move. Brown said he jumped out of the car and started walking.
He then alleged Seabourn said, “I’m going to shoot this (expletive).”
Brown said Seabourn was allegedly pointing a shotgun at him. He turned around and started walking again, and then he was shot. Brown testified he dropped, slid, then got back up and started walking again.
When Dave Pacheco testified, he said he had heard some noise, so he got out of bed, got dressed and went outside where he found his wife picking up his son off the ground in front of his room.
He said Spillers was “all stabbed up,” and he was also helping him inside when Seabourn allegedly came out with a shotgun. That was all he saw, but he did hear the shot go off.
He later testified he heard someone say Brown had a gun before hearing the blast.
When Brandi Pacheco testified, she said she woke up to screaming outside her house. When she went outside, she saw Brown running from her son’s room, allegedly covered in blood. She said he drove down the street, then came back and was allegedly screaming profanity. She was helping her son, who was “bleeding profusely,” so she yelled Brown was coming back.
She said that is when Brown got out of his car and started coming toward her and Spillers. She alleged he had something black in his hand.
Brandi Pacheco also testified she heard Brown allegedly make threats toward Spillers the previous evening and after the incident, too.
Chris McNally, a detective with the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, said he interviewed Brown’s friend at the scene. She said Spillers was allegedly lying in wait for Brown, as he was supposed to come inside because he was invited over to get some property.
She reported Seabourn allegedly fired four rounds and struck the vehicle with a two by four.
McNally testified, that as evidence was found, Seabourn did change his story several times regarding where he allegedly shot Spillers. He also told McNally he allegedly fired at Spillers, because as he was running away, Seabourn was afraid he had a gun.
There was also testimony about shotgun wads found near the vehicle as well as the fact the windows, except the windshield, had been broken out of the car.
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