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Canyon Lake man who shot friend with shotgun sentenced

 

Last updated 9/7/2018 at 4:10pm

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Houston Michael Boji of second-degree murder and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations for the Nov. 10, 2015, shooting death of 18-year-old Nicholas McCauley of Moreno Valley.

RIVERSIDE - A 22-year-old Canyon Lake man who fatally blasted his best friend with a shotgun in what the prosecution contended was a case of intimate feelings gone sour was sentenced to 40 years to life in state prison on Friday, Sept. 7.

A Riverside jury in July convicted Houston Michael Boji of second-degree murder and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations for the Nov. 10, 2015, shooting death of 18-year-old Nicholas McCauley of Moreno Valley.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Samuel Diaz imposed the sentence required by law.

Deputy District Attorney Sharunne Foster argued that Boji intended to kill McCauley and telegraphed his intentions well in advance with threatening texts, including one stating, "I'm serious. I will shoot you when I see you mother(expletive).''

Foster theorized that Boji had developed passionate feelings for his longtime friend, with whom he socialized almost daily, and became incensed when McCauley did not reciprocate.

The defendant and victim had spent time with each other four days before the shooting, and Boji ended up with a cold sore afterward, which the prosecution suggested was the result of intimate contact.

When Boji texted complaints to McCauley regarding his physical discomfort and unhappiness, the victim evidently did not respond, enraging the defendant, who vowed to shoot McCauley the next time they met, according to the prosecution.

Sheriff's investigators said Boji armed himself with a fully loaded 12-gauge pump shotgun and went to his friend's residence in the 25000 block of Soaring Seagull Lane, waited until the victim's mother left for work, then slipped into the house, where McCauley was still asleep in his bedroom.

Boji fired one round into McCauley's left arm at close range -- so close that the buckshot dispersed throughout the sleeping victim's entire chest cavity, killing him on the spot, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Boji initially told detectives that McCauley had killed himself, but in following statements admitted firing the shot.

According to the young man's attorneys, he never wanted to kill the victim. The defense argued that there were no homosexual impulses and that Boji was only interested in scaring McCauley because of a minor dispute -- without realizing the shotgun was loaded.

Boji had no documented prior felony convictions.

 

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