Three Judge Panel Rules DA Can Charge Store Clerk With Second Degree Murder

A store clerk awaiting trial for the death of a customer almost was able to avoid a murder charge. 46-year-old Shannon Rawlins was working the cash register at the AM/PM Mini Mart on Lake Boulevard at Masonic Lane on January 12th when 51-year-old Miguel Padilla came in. Padilla had a verbal exchange with another customer and Rawlins told Padilla to leave the other person alone, which he did. The other customer left the store and Rawlins rang up Padilla for his purchase. Police say Rawlins then walked out from behind the counter and shoved Rawlins to the floor, then kicked at him as he tried to stand up. When Padilla got to his feet, Rawlins can be seen on surveillance footage punching Padilla twice, knocking him to the floor both times and causing him to strike his head. Rawlins called 9-1-1 as Padilla lay on the floor unconscious and bleeding from his nose. He died after arriving at a hospital. Detectives determined it was not self defense because Padilla never threatened Rawlins with violence or challenged him to fight. A Shasta County Judge approved a defense motion to dismiss on grounds that the prosecutors hadn’t presented enough evidence to support a murder charge, so Rawlins was set to be tried for voluntary manslaughter. The DA’s Office challenged the ruling in appellate court, and Tuesday the three judge panel ruled in favor of the prosecution. Once the charge is reinstated, Rawlins will face a jury trial for second degree murder.