Testimony in murder trial ends
Friday, May 17, 2019

CENTREVILLE – Testimoney came to an end Thursday in the murder trial of 32 year old Zachary Patten.

St. Joseph County Circuit Court officials say the case against the Portage man was handed over to the jury Thursday afternoon. Patten was arrested July 21, 2017 after turning himself in to police officers in South Bend, Indiana, a day after he shot and killed two people in two different incidents.

The St. Joseph County trial is for the shooting death of 29 year old Shane Richardson. Patten drove to his ex-wife's house in the 16,000 block of Featherstone Road at 10:15 PM July 20. Patten was told to leave, but broke into the house and got into an altercation with Richardson, and then shot him. Richardson was taken to Three Rivers Health where he passed away a short time later.

Court officials say the jury was instructed they could find Patten guilty or innocent on charges of first degree murder, second degree murder, first degree felony murder, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and first degree home invasion.

Patten was found guilty in Kalamazoo County of first degree murder, carrying a concealed weapon and felony firearms in the death of 31 Graciela Portillo-Esparza. She was shot a few hours before Richardson was shot. Esparza got between her brother and Patten, who were arguing, and was shot by Patten.


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