Another Paso Robles man convicted of murder
September 29, 2015
As with Thomas Yanaga, Paso Robles man John Steven Danner has been convicted of second-degree murder with an enhancement for discharging a firearm during the killing.
A San Luis Obispo jury convicted Yanaga, 53, on Friday. A separate journey convicted Danner, 25, on Monday.
The two cases were unrelated, but both Yanaga and Danner shot and killed men at their Paso Robles homes, then claimed self defense. Their trials took place simultaneously.
On Feb. 7, 2014, Danner shot Billy Don Law 13 times. Law, 47, was the boyfriend of Danner’s mother, and all three lived in the same home.
Danner said he pulled a handgun to warn Law to end a loud argument with his mother. Law then charged at him, Danner said.
A few weeks prior to the shooting, Law knocked out one of Danner’s teeth when he sucker-punched him while Danner was sitting on the couch.
During the trial, Danner took the stand and testified that his father instructed him to shoot to kill when faced with life-threatening situations. He told me to shoot all the bullets in the gun at an attacker, Danner testified.
Danner’s attorney, David Vogel, argued Law is a drug user who would make threats and have violent outbursts.
The jury deliberated for multiple days before convicting Danner.
Danner, like Yanaga, faces a minimum of 15 years to life in prison, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office. Both men also face an additional 25 years to life for the enhancements to their convictions.
Danner’s sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 27. Yanaga is due to be sentenced Tuesday.