Robert Jobe found guilty of murder
Sat, 10 Nov 2007 05:00:42 GMT — After nine hours of deliberation, a jury found 15-year-old Robert Jobe guilty of murder with a firearm specification in the shooting death of Detective Keith Dressel in February. He faces 15 years to life for the murder conviction and an additional mandatory three years for the gun specification.
Jobe never took the witness stand at his trial on charges he killed a police officer. In fact, Robert Jobe's defense never called any witnesses before closing arguments began Friday morning. The case against Jobe was handed to the jury at 1:55 p.m. Friday afternoon. The jury has since asked a couple of questions and watched the tape of Jobe's confession.
Jobe had faced life in prison without parole if convicted of the more serious charge of aggravated murder.
Dressel, 35, was shot when he stopped to question Jobe and another man who were standing on a street in the early morning hours. During the trial, Jobe's attorneys acknowledged that Jobe fired the gun that killed the undercover detective. But they said Jobe didn't know Dressel was an officer and feared that the man was trying to attack him. The detective was shot once in the chest during a struggle with Jobe.
Dressel and two other officers were patrolling a neighborhood near downtown near the end of their shift when they saw two young men on a sidewalk. The officers thought the pair were violating curfew. But when the officers not in uniform identified themselves, Jobe and Sherman Powell, 19, took off running. Two officers quickly stopped Powell while Dressel pursued Jobe. Powell testified that he heard the detectives yell "police" when they approached him and his friend. The other detectives also testified that they had identified themselves.
Jobe surrendered to police about eight hours after the shooting, emerging from a duplex where he had been hiding. He was found about 100 yards from where the shooting took place.
Jobe had been in trouble with the law on several occasions before the shooting and once was charged with carrying a concealed weapon.
Dressel joined the force in 1993 and was assigned to the vice and narcotics bureau. He was honored in 1998 after he and another officer saved a man from a burning home.
The last time an officer was killed in the line of duty was 1970 when a patrolman was shot and killed during a race riot.