Suspect arrested in death of man freed by mistake

SCOTT SMITH
Associated Press
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In this undated photo released by the Fresno Police Dept. shows Bobby Lee Pearson. Pearson, a defendant in a Central California burglary case, walked out of a courtroom a free man after a jury mistakenly signed a not-guilty verdict form, even though it was hung and could not reach a verdict. The flabbergasted judge said Wednesday, June 11, 2014, he had no choice but to order Pearson to be released from jail because the not-guilty verdict had been put on the record. (AP Photo/Fresno Police Dept.)

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Police say they've made an arrest in the slaying of a Central California man stabbed hours after he was freed from jail because of a jury's mistake.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Thursday that detectives arrested 35-year-old Willie Gray on suspicion of killing his girlfriend's brother, 37-year-old Bobby Lee Pearson.

Dyer says Pearson may still be alive if it weren't for the jury's "mishap."

A jury signed a form Wednesday saying that Pearson was not guilty of a burglary. The judge later learned that jurors actually couldn't agree, but it was too late to reverse the verdict and Pearson was released from jail.

Dyer says Pearson went to his sister's home early Thursday to collect some things, where Pearson and Gray began a fight that left Pearson dead.