Pre­lim­i­nary Hear­ing Sched­uled For Over­turf

Escalon Times - - FRONT PAGE - By MARG JACK­SON mjack­son@escalon­

A pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing for Rocky Over­turf is sched­uled for Tues­day, Jan. 31.

The Escalon man is be­ing charged with sec­ond de­gree mur­der for the death of Aaron Mes­sick in a fight be­hind the Val­ley Inn on Main Street on Nov. 20, 2016.

“He is also be­ing charged with as­sault with a deadly weapon – by means of force, stem­ming from a 2015 case where he as­saulted a per­son and caused them great bod­ily in­jury,” said Escalon Po­lice De­tec­tive Robert Hard­graves. “Although there were mul­ti­ple witnesses to the 2015 in­ci­dent, the vic­tim did not wish to pros­e­cute. Since the case has not passed the statute of lim­i­ta­tions, the District At­tor­ney has elected to pro­ceed with charges.”

The vic­tim has been con­tacted, Hard­graves added, and has agreed to co­op­er­ate.

Over­turf eluded po­lice for sev­eral days af­ter the Novem­ber in­ci­dent but was ar­rested dur­ing a traf­fic stop in Modesto.

The case stemmed from an al­ter­ca­tion in­volv­ing Over­turf, 26, and Mes­sick, 36, also of Escalon. The two men re­port­edly had an al­ter­ca­tion at the Val­ley Inn on Main Street late Satur­day night Nov. 19/early Sun­day morn­ing Nov. 20, with Over­turf leav­ing out the front door of the es­tab­lish­ment, driv­ing away in his ve­hi­cle. Mes­sick, mean­while, went out the back door of the bar a short time later and was con­fronted there by Over­turf, who punched Mes­sick, caus­ing him to fall and strike his head.

Over­turf then fled the scene as po­lice and emer­gency ser­vices units were called, with CPR be­ing done on the vic­tim when au­thor­i­ties ar­rived shortly be­fore 12:30 a.m. on Sun­day, Nov. 20. Mes­sick was pro­nounced dead and an au­topsy later listed the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head.

Af­ter he fled the scene, po­lice searched for Over­turf for more than a week and had run down sev­eral leads, with a break in the case com­ing on Nov. 28 when Over­turf was the pas­sen­ger in a ve­hi­cle stopped by au­thor­i­ties in Modesto.

He was sub­se­quently booked into jail early morn­ing Tues­day, Nov. 29 and will be back in court for the pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing on Jan. 31.


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