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Witnesses: Man broke woman's jaw before deadly shooting

Joseph Stancil Jr. killed in Olivehurst

About 10 minutes before he was shot and killed on a dead-end street in Olivehurst, Joseph Stancil Jr. smashed a woman's jaw with a gun, witnesses said Tuesday.

Yvonne Desa's jaw was broken in three places. She lost a tooth and will eat all of her meals through a straw for the next six weeks. She has no idea why Stancil attacked her.

"I think he got what he deserved," Desa said, a few hours after getting out of the hospital on Tuesday. "I'd never even spoken a word to him before."

Stancil, 23, was shot dead late Friday on Brougham Way. Neighbors said Stancil and his friends had been drinking heavily since early in the morning and yelling at various neighbors.

Neighbors have refused to talk on the record out of fear of retaliation.

Gabriel Natal was arrested hours after the death and is charged with Stancil's murder. He is also accused of shooting Stancil's fiancee, Rosie Wheeler.

Wheeler is expected to recover, but was shot in the abdomen, according to probable cause statements.

She was listed in "stable" condition Tuesday at Rideout Memorial Hospital.

Deputies said Wheeler had also been in a fist fight with Natal's girlfriend "during the shooting."

Natal appeared briefly in court Tuesday, but did not enter a plea.

Defense attorney Roberto Marquez said it was still too early to comment on whether his client may have been acting in self-defense.

"We really won't know until we get more (evidence)," Marquez said.

Natal's ex-wife, Jacqueline, contacted the Appeal-Democrat from her home in Georgia to say she does not believe the charges that have been filed against her ex-husband are valid.

Jacqueline Natal said her ex-husband, a native of New York, left the East Coast to start a better life for his family in California.

"Gabriel is not a violent person at all, and if he did do anything, then I know it was only defending himself or his family; he's such a good father and family man," Jacqueline Natal said.

Jacqueline Natal said she has known Natal since they were kids on Coney Island.

"We got married young and grew apart, but I have nothing but total respect for that man," Jacqueline Natal said.

Multiple attempts to reach Stancil's friends and family were not successful Tuesday.

Some comments on the Appeal-Democrat's website describe Stancil as a family man who planned to marry Wheeler.

For her part, Desa said she believes Natal should not be behind bars.

"I think any man would've done the same thing in his position," Desa said.

Natal is being held without bail at the Yuba County Jail.

He is due back in court next Tuesday for arraignment in Yuba County Superior Court.


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