Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: What happened to the murder of Pablo Martin? He was shot by Oscar Ceballos, his brother-in-law at the time.
Submitted by: Araceli Diaz, Sacramento
ANSWER: Oscar Ceballos was sentenced to 21 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter in the April 27, 2009 shooting death of Pablo Martin.
The shooting occurred on 45th Avenue near Martin Luther King Boulevard. According to stories in The Bee, Martin, 34, was married to Ceballos' sister. Martin and his wife had been involved in a dispute earlier in the day, prompting Ceballos to come to her defense.
Ceballos and Martin first got into a fistfight. Ceballos left, but then came back with a gun. He shot and killed Martin when the two men began fighting again, police and prosecutors said.
Ceballos' attorney argued that his client acted in self-defense, saying that Ceballos thought he saw a flash of chrome in Martin's pocket and mistook it for a gun. The prosecutor said Martin was unarmed.
Jurors acquitted Ceballos of first-degree murder. He entered his no-contest plea to voluntary manslaughter just as attorneys were set to re-argue the case due to the jury's difficulty reaching a verdict on a second-degree murder count.
Ceballos, 25, is incarcerated at California State Prison, Los Angeles County in Lancaster.
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