Crime

Mendocino County Man Convicted of Manslaughter in 2018 Dies in State Prison

The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office:

Steve Patrick Ryan [Mugshot provided by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office]

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced this week that Steven Patrick Ryan, 66, died in state prison while serving a state prison sentence in the 2016 shooting death of an unarmed young black man.

Mendocino County District Attorney Dave Eyster said Ryan was convicted by jury in May 2018 of voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of De’Shaun Christopher Davis. 

Ryan was sentenced to 21 years in state prison in June 2018 for his crime and for his use of a firearm to commit the crime. Ryan would not have been eligible for parole until he was at least 81.

The defendant was convicted of voluntary manslaughter. The jury also found true that the defendant intentionally and personally used a firearm to cause that death. 

In brief, defendant Ryan shot Davis to death just before Thanksgiving 2016. 

Claiming that he was in fear, the defendant admitted continuing to shoot at Davis even after the victim was down. An eyewitness testified at trial that the victim was on his knees with his hands up telling the defendant he was surrendering when the defendant, firing three times, shot Davis to death.

At the sentencing hearing, the defense argued for a grant of probation and credit for time already served. If probation were to be denied, the defense argued a sentence no greater than six years was the appropriate sentence. 

De’Shaun’s mother, supported in the courtroom by both her mother and brother, traveled from the East Coast to address the court and gave an emotional plea for the maximum prison sentence possible.

DA Eyster, who prosecuted the case against Ryan, argued that the aggravated manslaughter conviction and an aggravated use of a firearm, justified a 21-year prison term, the maximum sentence allowed by law given the verdicts.

Ryan’s appeal of his conviction was denied in October 2019. 

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