The murder charges against Corning resident, Jason Young, have been dropped by the Tehama County District Attorney’s Office.
Young, 49, was accused of using a .410 gauge shotgun to shot and kill Claybern Rudy Lozano, 45, of Orland on Oct. 24, 2018, at Young’s home on the 5000 block of Olive Road.
The case against Young had proceeded to a preliminary hearing where he was held to answer on the charge of murder, and the case was proceeding through the court process toward trial.
In the meantime, the investigation into the shooting was ongoing. Initially, the Tehama County district attorney’s office and the sheriff’s office had concluded due to evidence that Young had shot Lozano was an act of murder.
On the day of the shooting, Young called 911 around 7:36 a.m. stating he had shot someone with a shotgun at his residence, according to the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office.
When deputies and rescue personnel arrived around 7:50 a.m., Lozano was pronounced dead at the scene, his body laying in a driveway next to stairs that go up to Young’s mobile home.
At the time of this arrest, Young claimed the shooting was an act of self-defense, stating Lozano was making violent and unwelcome entry into his home, said District Attorney Matt Rogers.
Young’s mother, who lived with her son at the time of the shooting, said she believes the incident may have been over Lozano’s ex-girlfriend who was at the residence at the time of the shooting.
“I had met Clay (Lozano) a couple of times. He and Jason were kind of friends at one time,” she said. “I believe it was a matter of self-defense.”
The California Department of Justice, which was assisting in the investigation, was able to conduct a DNA test on certain items of evidence collected at the scene of the incident, reported the D.A.’s office. That testing revealed that Lozano’s blood was on the curtains inside Young’s home.
“This was strong evidence that Lozano had made entry into Young’s home when Young fired upon him,” Rogers said.
California law allows a person to defend themselves with lethal force in their home and states that the person is not guilty of murder if they killed to defend themselves or any other person in their home, he added.
“Such a killing is justified, and therefore not unlawful,” Rogers said. “The law does require that the use of lethal force must be reasonable, the lethal force must be proportionate to the threat and that the danger to life be immediate, in order to be justified.
“In the Young case, the evidence points strongly to self-defense and at this juncture the case against Young will not be pursued by the Tehama County District Attorney’s Office.”