Courts

Judge hands down probation in gun case over firefight with Lul Tys

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A man pled no contest last week to a gun possession charge linked to the firefight in May that left rapper Lul Tys dead.

As The Update first reported, investigators continued to examine the circumstances surrounding the death of Tys, real name Jacob Steven Lopez, after he was found dead in an apartment complex in Citrus Heights.

Police said at the time that officers found Diaz wounded in the apartment complex’s walkway after several people called 911 about a shooting. He had a Glock handgun, modified with a fully automatic switch, lying alongside him.

Officers next found Lopez inside a nearby apartment with multiple fatal gunshot wounds. Officials said they believed the men knew each other and engaged each other in a shootout.

No more information about the incident was ever revealed in court. A several-page affidavit, written to establish probable cause for the gun charge, was ordered sealed by the court. The practice is commonplace in Sacramento County and prosecutors rarely ask for the records to be made public.

Because the shooting involved two people firing at each other, according to a law enforcement source, the matter was subject to further investigation with a possible homicide charge to be added later on. A memo, included in court records, confirmed that reporting.

At a short hearing held on October 6th, Diaz was placed on two-year probation pursuant to a stipulated suspended sentence of 180 days time served. If Diaz is to violate any conditions of his probation, he can be jailed for up to three years.

In an unrelated misdemeanor case, Diaz was ordered to pay $600 to a woman and must maintain peaceful contact with his child. Judge John Winn added that Diaz is not allowed to “threaten, strike, or harass” his child.

Chief DDA Rod Norgaard, a high-level prosecutor in Sacramento, said the office found “only sufficient evidence” to charge Diaz for the gun. The office’s finding was revealed only after the case was adjudicated, and Norgaard did not expand on the evidence he was referring to.

Because Diaz and Tys were shooting at each other, prosecutors likely foresaw difficulty in proving homicide charges because of the possibility of self defense. Prosecutors work under an ethical obligation to only file charges with a genuine belief that they will be able to secure a conviction from a jury.

One legal expert said a conviction in the case would be “very difficult” without witnesses or conclusive proof of who shot first, however, that could change based on any new evidentiary developments or witnesses who come forward.

Diaz’s public defender did not return a request for comment. In a statement left on a YouTube video that cited SacUpdate reporting, Tys’ parents said Diaz claimed he fatally shot the rapper in self-defense and criticized the DA’s decision not to file charges.

“There is video evidence of Jacob walking outside his front door, keys in one hand, cell phone in the other, seconds later he’s dead,” the family said.

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