MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — More than two months have passed since Trevor Seever was shot and killed.
Modesto police officer Joseph Lamantia was fired and charged with voluntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting in mid-March.
“It’s been painful,” said Bob Fores, the attorney for the Seever family. “They had hope but no specific expectations of what might happen, so when this information came out, it was extremely emotional.”
Fores told FOX40 that while the family is appreciative of what has happened so far, they believe the charges should be more serious.
“Certainly, the family wishes the charges were more serious, such as murder,” Fores said.
Right after Lamantia was charged, the Stanislaus District Attorney’s office said Lamantia pleaded not guilty.
Lamantia’s attorney, Paul Goyette, told FOX40 his client did nothing wrong.
“He did his job. He did his job consistent with his training. We believe it’s a perfectly justifiable officer-involved shooting,” Goyette said.
When Seever was shot, he was unarmed.
“Whether he had a weapon or not, doesn’t matter. It’s the threat that he posed and what the officer knew at that moment in time,” Goyette said.
Until Seever’s death, Lamantia has been involved in five other shootings during his 12-year career. Four of the five shootings were fatal.
“All of his officer-involved shootings, and we’re familiar with all of them, were justifiable,” Goyette said.
A spokesperson with the Modesto Police Department tells FOX40 that Lamantia was cleared for three of the shootings and one is still under review.
The Seever family said they will have a hard time trusting law enforcement, but the charges Lamantia is facing is a start in their healing process.
“There’s a sense of relief, a sense of peace,” Fores said.
Lamantia faces up to 11 years in prison if he’s convicted for voluntary manslaughter.