Surprise repairman not guilty in 2018 fatal shooting


A jury found a repairman not guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a man in Surprise last year.

The Wednesday ruling exonerated Robert Lee Moore, 27, of the charge, according to minute entries filed by the Maricopa County Superior Court.

Authorities said Robert Moore, 27, told police he shot Surprise resident Frank Pineda, 41, in self-defense after an altercation in July 2018.

Surprise police learned Mr. Moore had been asked over to work on Mr. Pineda’s property.

After Mr. Pineda paid Mr. Moore $200, Mr. Pineda reportedly asked Mr. Moore to hand back $100. Mr. Moore reportedly dropped a $100 bill on the floor and started to pack up. However, Mr. Moore claimed Mr. Pineda started punching him in the face. Mr. Moore then allegedly shot Mr. Pineda in self-defense.

Mr. Moore stayed in the area to talk with police, but he was let go as officers continued to investigate.

He was arrested days later on the second-degree murder charge, with police saying Mr. Moore did not appear to have any signs of an assault that he claimed had occurred. They also said Mr. Pineda’s gunshot wound did not appear to be from close-range.

However, the jury came to decide to find Mr. Moore not guilty.

Authorities said Mr. Moore remained in custody and a release order was submitted to court after the verdict.

Mr. Moore and his lawyer weren't immediately available for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.