Biotech exec found guilty of attempted murder
SAN DIEGO — A former biotech executive who wounded his ex-business partner and estranged brother-in-law in separate shootings in their La Jolla homes was convicted Wednesday of two counts of attempted murder and other charges.
Jurors deliberated one day before convicting Hans Petersen, 50, who faces 64 years to life in prison when he is sentenced May 15.
Deputy District Attorney Amy Maund said Petersen shot UC San Diego researcher and former business partner Steven Dowdy because he was angry over his 2010 firing and felt that his professional reputation had been tarnished.
Petersen also shot Ron Fletcher, the brother of his estranged wife, because he was upset that his marriage was over and that a piece of property they owned together was about to be sold, Maund said.
The defendant was acquitted of trying to kill Dowdy’s wife, Lisa.
Defense attorney Marc Carlos told jurors that Petersen was in a “state of confusion” during the Sept. 18, 2013, shootings, likely due to a combination of prescription medications and alcohol. Carlos said Petersen could not remember the shootings when he was arrested after shooting Fletcher.
Much of the altercation between Petersen and Fletcher after shots were fired was caught on security video. Carlos said the defendant’s behavior was irrational.
Maund said Petersen fired his gun into Dowdy’s bedroom about 3 a.m., wounding Dowdy in the hip. Three hours later, Petersen broke into Fletcher’s home, shooting his brother-in-law in the stomach as he got out of the shower.