Jose Manuel Beltran appears to have been in a revelatory mood in the early hours of Sept. 15, as he danced in the back of his friend Victor Sosa’s car to music, waving his gun in the air. The pair had been out drinking with another friend; around 2 a.m., Beltran said he knew of another spot on Polk Street they could hang out that served liquor after hours. Already quite drunk when he got in the car, he says he removed the gun from his waistband because it was uncomfortable.
As could be expected, the incident ended badly. The gun went off, and fatally struck driver Victor Sosa at least once in the torso. A woman in the front seat managed to stop the car, which crashed into a Honda Civic. Beltran fled the scene and ditched the gun, but turned himself in to police a few hours later.
Now, it appears he’s being released from jail.
Deputy Public Defender Bonnie Chan, who’s representing Beltran, stated that the shooting was an accident, highlighting that Beltran did eventually turn himself in. said that the shooting was an accident. Her argument was persuasive; Judge Robert Foley agreed, but assigned Beltran and ankle monitor, and banned him from possessing weapons or drinking alcohol. He will return to court on Oct. 10.
In the meantime, Sosa’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses, and to raise funds for his young son. “I ask everyone with all my heart to contribute, we are a very humble family of low resources, and we are from Guatemala,” it reads.