MAPC Defends Jewelry Store Roberry Victim Being Sued BY Robber’s Estate

In August 2010, four armed robbers entered Arturo Rios’ Wilmington pawn shop. The hooded robbers smashed jewelry cases and rushed Mr. Rios while pulling what would later be discovered to be hammers from their waistbands.

Mr. Rios, a victim of prior armed robberies, feared for his life. He drew a revolver in self-defense and fired at his attackers. Several of the robbers were struck by bullets. All ran away.

One of the robbers died in the street outside the store. He was identified as Brandon Lincoln, a gang member with an extensive criminal history.

Two of the alleged co-conspirators, Traveon Hill and Jeremiah Baskin, were later caught. The Los Angeles District Attorney charged the pair with armed robbery and felony murder for their role in the attack and for the foreseeability that such a dangerous and violent crime might result in one of their co-conspirators being killed, either by their intended victim or by police.  They are currently awaiting trial.

The fourth robber is unidentified and remains at large.

Not content on merely victimizing Mr. Rios by attacking him and forcing him to defend his life, Mr. Lincoln’s estate has now filed a civil lawsuit against Mr. Rios seeking money for the armed robber’s death.  Mr. Lincoln’s mother is spearheading the lawsuit, blaming Mr. Rios for her son’s reckless criminal actions and for his death, a foreseeable outcome resulting from the robbery.

California law permits citizens to defend themselves with force from potentially lethal attacks, including with a firearm when that citizen reasonably fears for his or her physical safety.  Surely, masked robbers rushing toward a person while drawing weapons would put any person in reasonable fear for his life, and criminals engaging in such high-stakes crimes know the risks of such an illegal attack.

So the lawsuit has no merit.  But anyone can file a lawsuit and force an already traumatized victim to spend thousands of dollars to defend themselves again – this time in court.

Citizens should not have to fear being further victimized when they lawfully defend themselves from criminals.  Michel & Associates, P.C. has thus agreed to defend Mr. Rios against the robber’s civil suit, and is charging a greatly reduced rate for their legal work.

If you would like to contribute to Mr. Rios’ defense fund to help him defray the cost of defending against this frivolous lawsuit, please contact the Michel & Associates Office Manager at to discuss how you can help.  Alternatively, you can send a check made payable to “Michel & Associates Client Trust Account/Rios defense” directly to MAPC at 180 E. Ocean Blvd., #200, Long Beach, CA 90802.  Please note on your check or in accompanying correspondence that such checks are donations for the benefit of Mr. Rios’ legal defense in court.