2nd Trial Begins For Man Accused Of Brutal Murder

A new trial is underway against Juan Venegas. The 41-year-old Redding man is accused in the murder of David Wicks, who was killed December 21st of 2016 while working at the Shell Station in Johnson Park just east of Burney. Surveillance shows a person in a yellow rain suit using a flammable liquid to torch Wicks and the store. The rain suit was later found and DNA testing led sheriff’s detectives to arrest Venegas. No motive was ever established. Venegas was being tried for premeditated murder with special circumstances, including a torture allegation, but the case ended in a mistrial in August of last year after the defense raised doubts about the DNA procedures. The jury deliberated for several days until a juror was dismissed for discussing the case with an outsider. An alternate was assigned and after 2 more days of deliberation the jury was unable to agree on a verdict. The D.A.’s Office had said that they weren’t going for the death penalty against Venegas. He faces possible life in prison without parole if convicted.

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