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Upper Lake pair arrested after suspected burglar shot dead

  • Upper Lake residents, James Michael Jean and Nora Katherine Jean are being held on $500,000 bail each. (Lake County Sheriff)

Lake County Sheriff’s officials on Friday confirmed they are investigating a fatal Christmas day shooting at an Upper Lake home where large amounts of marijuana and firearms were later located.

“It appears the person was there to rob them of marijuana or money,” Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero said.

The deceased has been identified as Maurice Watts, 30, a Lake County resident, he said.

The residents, James Michael Jean, 50, and Nora Katherine Jean, 49, were arrested Thursday and are being held on $500,000 bail each, Rivero said.

James Jean is charged with possession of marijuana for sale, being a felon armed with a firearm, and possession of illegal ammunition, he said. Nora Jean is charged with possession of marijuana for sale, according to booking records.

An estimated 980 pounds of marijuana and 17 firearms — three of them military-style assault rifles — were found when search warrants were served at three locations, including a Lakeport garage, tied to the couple, Rivero said.

“These people were armed to the teeth, as usual,” he said.

Watts was killed with a handgun, he said.

Rivero said detectives are still investigating the circumstances of the shooting, including whether it was justified, and whether a second would-be robber had escaped.

The residents told detectives that Watts was trying to break into their home just before 10 a.m., he said.

Detectives found a replica of a handgun near his body, which a sheriff’s office news release said was found outside the house. It was unclear where outside the body was found.

You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or glenda.anderson@pressdemocrat.com.

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