Probation Violation Turns Deadly

Free & Confidential Consultations

When a suspect violates his or her probation, it is up to the police to take the person into custody. That usually goes off without any problems, but that was far from the case in July when officers attempted to apprehend Jonathan Coronel. The documented gang member had been accused of a probation violation, and when the police tried to take him into custody, the situation quickly escalated, and shots were fired. Coronel died at the scene.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner just released the autopsy. Coronel had 22 gunshot wounds and had both marijuana and methamphetamine in his system.

The Shooting

Deputies were patrolling Vista when they spotted Coronel in a green vehicle. They quickly approached the vehicle to apprehend the suspect, but he fled on foot. The foot pursuit was intense, with the suspect climbing fences and hiding in yards.

The foot pursuit ended on the 300 block of North Melrose Drive in Vista. Deputy Christopher Villanueva got into a confrontation with Coronel and claims he feared for his life. He shot his weapon, striking the suspect several times. He ended up firing all of the bullets in the weapon and then reloading. However, he did not fire any additional shots after reloading his weapon. The suspect died at the scene.

This was the officer’s second officer-involved shooting. He shot and killed known gang member Sergio Weick in 2016. He was cleared of the shooting and was able to resume his duties. He was also cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting of Coronel, although some people aren’t happy with the outcome.

Probation ViolationThe Aftermath

While the officer has been cleared of wrongdoing, the family is still moving forward with a wrongful death lawsuit. The family claims Coronel was not armed when he was fatally shot, and they also say he was lying on his stomach and not a threat to police officers. They feel as if he was murdered and that the police officer should have to pay.

While he wasn’t armed, law enforcement officers say he threatened police officers in the past, and he has a reputation for carrying guns. Because of that, they think it was reasonable for the deputy to fear for his life.

What to Do if You’re Accused of a Probation Violation

It’s never a good idea to flee from police. If you have violated your probation or if you have been accused of doing so, you should contact an attorney immediately. The sooner you can clear it up with law enforcement, the better. Your legal team will help you mount a defense and hopefully keep you out of jail.

Coronel was charged with a felony probation violation, but even if your violation is minor, it’s still a good idea to contact a lawyer. The police will want to put you away for as long as possible, and your lawyer will help you get the best possible outcome. Put the odds back in your favor with the help of a qualified attorney.

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

Rate this Post

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars