Suspect in Home Depot parking lot slaying denies shooting from behind bars

SACRAMENTO - A man accused of a random, deadly shooting in a parking lot last month is speaking out from behind bars. This comes after the murder suspect made a courtroom outburst last week where he declared he was pleading guilty to all charges against him.

Jeffrey Caylor, 44, was transferred to the Sacramento County Jail from Butte County Saturday after he was arrested on unrelated charges.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit during a jailhouse interview, Caylor appeared defiant about the murder charges. "I'm good. I don't need no Johnnie Cochran or any other dudes to come help me. I wish they would," said Caylor.

Caylor is accused of fatally shooting Hassan Alawsi, an Iraqi refugee, in the parking lot of a Sacramento Home Depot on March 16.

Sacramento deputies believe the murder was racially motivated. Caylor says he doesn't recall that night. "I haven't opened fire on anybody due to nationality, races or anything like that," he said.

That's a stark difference to what he told Butte County authorities on Thursday - where he was being held on charges of vehicle theft and driving under the influence.

"He just said 'I'm guilty of everything they said happened here in Butte County, Lincoln and Sacramento,'" said Mike Ramsey, Butte County District Attorney.

Prosecutors there dismissed those charges so Caylor could get an expedited transfer to Sacramento County.

Caylor says his courtroom outburst was not a confession and he is now recanting his story.

"I said I might as well plead guilty to everything because they're going to find me guilty of whatever they're saying I did anyway," said Caylor.

Caylor plans to defend himself and fight the murder charges in court. "I would tell them to rack a jury. That's what I would tell them, rack them up because it's going to be a long, hard day before they get me to plea to something I didn't do," he said.

The 44-year-old is no stranger to criminal behavior and he isn't shy about it either. "Did I commit an attempted armed robbery back then? Yes I did. Did I have a firearm in my possession? Yes I did. Have I done some dirt here in Sacramento? Yes I have. Will I admit to what I've done? Oh, I will more than happy to raise my hand at what I've done. But you know what? I'm not going to sit back and let them frame me either," Caylor said.

Caylor says the setup against him goes back to when he was evicted from his Carmichael store a year ago. But he wouldn't tell us what proof he had.

"I can prove there was never a homicide committed in that parking lot. Without a doubt I can prove that, believe that," he said.

Prosecutors say Caylor's girlfriend, Kari Hamilton and her 12-year-old son were with him at the time of the shooting. Hamilton is being held at the jail on robbery charges.

They are both scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon.


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