DA: Visalia man sentenced to life in prison for 2018 murder of Kmart employee

Local News

Booking photo of Jeremy Kechloian provided by the Tulare County District Attroney’s Office.

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A Visalia man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a Kmart employee in 2018, according to Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward.

On Thursday the court sentenced Jeremy Kechloian, 47, to 68 years and 8 months to life in prison after he was found guilty for the murder of an employee at the Visalia Kmart in 2018 and for assaulting law enforcement officers while in custody.

On May 9, 2018, around 5:30 p.m., officials say Kechloian went into the Visalia Kmart with a knife visible in his back pocket. Authorities say a customer reported him to employees and a loss prevention officer then escorted him out of the store.

Officials say while Kechloian was being escorted out by the employee, he stabbed them in the neck and chest before fleeing the scene. He was quickly tracked down by Visalia police officers, according to authorities.

Officials say while Kechloian was being booked and processed at the police department, he also punched an officer in the face and continued to physically resist two other officers who were in the holding cell.

On Nov. 22, 2021, the D.A. says Kechloian was found guilty of first-degree murder with a deadly weapon and two felony counts of resisting an officer.

In a separate trial on Nov. 30, 2021, Kechloian was also found guilty of felony possession of a weapon in custody, battery by gassing, battery upon a custodial officer and three counts of misdemeanor violations of damaging jail property, according to officials.

The D.A. says while in custody at the Bob Wiley Detention Facility, Kechloian was charged for incidents involving, “throwing feces on a custodial officer, throwing inmate manufactured alcohol on a custodial officer, possessing an inmate-made weapon and damaging the windows of his jail cell.”

According to officials, Kechloian also has several felony charges from the past including possession of contraband in jail, possession of a controlled substance, petty theft with priors, resisting an executive officer and assault with a deadly weapon.

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