Monday, July 12, 2010

San Bernardino, CA: Suspect: Death was accidental

Former fugitive says he defended himself
Michael J. Sorba, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/11/2010 07:54:12 AM PDT

Michael Joseph Monson Jr. went on the lam for 45 days after his ex-girlfriend's mother's boyfriend was shot and killed April 6 in Colton.
Although he admits he fired the shot that killed 52-year-old Jose Luis Moya, Monson says he fired three warning shots when Moya charged him with a knife. A fourth, and fatal, shot hit the victim in the head.

"It was not a premeditated (killing)," Monson said. "I never wanted to kill nobody."

Police and the District Attorney's Office don't believe his story and have charged him with murder.

Monson, 25, fled immediately after the shooting and evaded police before being captured May 20.

He said sleep was hard to come by while hiding out. He could only muster a few hours a day because he feared for his life. At least twice, Monson called The Sun and said he was afraid to turn himself in.

He said he was convinced police would try to kill him if they found him based on previous experiences of police harassment, comments police made to his family and a news release issued by the Colton Police Department.

The release said Monson had reportedly once told a booking deputy he would "shoot it out if contacted by police."

Monson said he never made the comment. He thought the comment was included so police would have an excuse to shoot him if he was captured.

"I was really thinking they were going to kill me," he said.

Monson moved around frequently to avoid capture

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