After years of delays, David Machado was found guilty Monday afternoon of murdering Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Wallace. The guilty verdict came after only hours of jury deliberation in the Stanislaus County Superior Court.
The Nov. 13, 2016 slaying occurred at Fox Grove Fishing Access northeast of Hughson after Wallace pulled over Keyes resident Machado in a white Dodge Caravan reported stolen six days prior by Machado’s mother.
Machado’s mental status will be the subject of hearings starting tomorrow and expecting to take weeks. The sanity phase was ordered because Machado entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.
The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office asserts that Machado was sane and was carrying out threats he uttered weeks before to “shoot it out” with law enforcement. Machado made the statement to several people after he was out on bail for another felony charge and said he would not go back to jail. At the time of his arrest Machado had a bench warrant out because he missed a court appearance on the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Defense attorney Marcus Mumford argued that Machado was not deserving of a first-degree murder charge because he acted impulsively and not in premeditated fashion. Mumford said second-degree was more fitting since Machado didn’t immediately shoot and since he didn’t shoot at officers who cornered him. Machado was arrested the day of the shooting in Lindsay where he tried to steal a car. He ran but was found by police in an alley.
Forensic pathologist Sung-Ook Baik testified that Wallace suffered a gunshot wound to the face and one in the neck.
Wallace was a 20-year-veteran of the Sheriff’s Department who left behind a wife in Hughson and family. He lived in Hughson and helped with community soccer games and youth football for the area. He had previously been assigned to the Salida area and the courthouse before his assignment in Hughson.