A man accused of causing the death of his accomplice during a home-invasion robbery three years ago in Morro Bay was found guilty of seven criminal counts Tuesday as well as numerous enhancements that will strengthen his penalty.
But a jury was deadlocked on the charge of murder through a provocative act in the case against 22-year-old Luke Austin Waite.
Waite was convicted of charges including attempted murder and residential burglary in the April 8, 2009, invasion of a home on Seaview Avenue near Hillview Avenue. His accomplice, Jason Graves, was shot and killed during the incident.
Waite’s attorney, Gael Mueller, said the men went to the home to take marijuana and possibly money from the residents.
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Deputy District Attorney Charlie Blair argued that Waite started shooting first, spurring resident Seth Terrazas to wrestle a gun away from Graves and shoot him before shooting Waite as well. Waite survived his gunshot wounds; Graves, a 22-year-old transient, did not.
Mueller said that her client made “some bad mistakes” but maintained that he “didn’t kill Jason.”
Waite is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 22 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, at which time the possibility of a new trial on the murder charge will be considered. The District Attorney’s Office has the option to try that charge again with a new jury.