Not Guilty Verdict

Goyette, Ruano & Thompson Secures Not Guilty Verdict in San Joaquin County Voluntary Manslaughter Trial

Goyette, Ruano & Thompson is proud to announce a successful outcome in the defense of peace officer, Justin Wall, who faced charges of Voluntary Manslaughter after a 2017 fatal shooting in Ripon, CA.

This serves as a remarkable victory given the intricate twists and turns throughout the duration of the trial. In addition, this case was the first time the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office prosecuted a law enforcement officer for an on-duty shooting.

Paul Goyette, lead attorney on the case, explains, “It [was] a really protracted trial and deliberations were really long; a lot of uncertainties. While there are no winners in this situation, we are and are proud of the results and happy that the Wall family can finally move on to the next chapter of their lives.”

While the dash-cam footage of the video presented at trial was emotional and jarring, attorneys Paul Goyette and Brett Sherman presented evidence including expert witness testimony, key witness interviews, and detailed department policies to provide context and perspective. Mr. Wall may now return to full duty after serving in an “unarmed support capacity” since he was charged.   

This case underscores the difficulties peace officers face in today’s political climate. So again, Goyette, Ruano & Thompson is extremely pleased with this outcome, not only for Mr. Wall and his family, but also as a reminder to all of our public safety clients that they do have hope, and options if facing a similar situation.

Goyette, Ruano & Thompson has decades of experience advocating for peace officers in all aspects of representation across California. If you have any questions or comments, or are in need of representation on any type of legal matter, Goyette Ruano, & Thompson can be reached at or at (916) 851-1900.