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Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : Gunman in Fatal Shooting of Attacker Will Not Be Charged

November 05, 1994|PHIL SNEIDERMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LANCASTER — A prosecutor declined to file charges Friday against a Lake Los Angeles man arrested in a fatal shooting, saying the gunman was only trying to save his girlfriend from a brutal beating by her former landlord.

Alfred Abel, 40, fatally wounded Michael Rene Chiasson, 38, of Palmdale because Chiasson, angry about rent money he said the woman owed, attacked her.

"He slammed her head against a truck and threw her on the ground," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Myron Jenkins. "He was seen choking and hitting her. She was yelling for help."

As for the shooting, "it was a clear case of acting in the defense of others," said Jenkins, who reviewed the reports submitted by sheriff's homicide investigators.

Abel, who had been in jail in Lancaster since the shooting, was released Friday afternoon, deputies said.

The incident began about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when Chiasson pulled up in front of Abel's house in the 17600 block of East Highacres Avenue. Outside, he confronted Abel's live-in girlfriend, a 26-year-old woman whose name was withheld, and demanded rent money she allegedly owed him, investigators said.

"He got into an argument with the woman in front of the house and began hitting her," Deputy Benita Hinojos said.

Jenkins, the prosecutor, said Chiasson, at 5 feet, 11 inches tall and 190 pounds, overpowered the woman, who is 5 feet, 3 inches tall and 90 to 100 pounds.

Abel's 14-year-old son, who witnessed the beating, ran inside to get his father, who emerged with a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol.

"He came out and told (Chiasson) to stop beating the lady," Jenkins said. "She managed to break free, but (Chiasson) started to pursue her and said he wanted to kill her."

Abel, who is partially paralyzed on his right side, attempted to cock and fire the gun with one hand, aiming at Chiasson's legs, the prosecutor said. The gun suddenly discharged, and a bullet struck Chiasson in the lower abdomen, severing an artery.

"It appeared . . . that (Abel) was aiming low, and he probably didn't have good control," Jenkins said.

Abel called paramedics, unloaded his weapon and cooperated with deputies who arrived at the scene, investigators said. Chiasson was airlifted to Antelope Valley Hospital, where he died about 30 minutes later.

Deputies found blood on the woman's face and bruises on her throat, and she was treated at the scene by paramedics. "There really isn't any dispute about the facts of the assault on the female," Jenkins said.

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