Sacramento Cardroom Murderer Gets Life for Killing Security Guard

Posted on: January 15, 2024, 07:31h. 

Last updated on: January 17, 2024, 03:36h.

The man in the 2022 robbery and fatal shooting of a heroic security guard at Sacramento, Calif.’s Capitol Casino has been sentenced to life in prison.

Capitol Casino
The Capitol Casino, pictured above. A man was convicted for killing a security guard at the California cardroom. (Image: Capitol Casino)

On Friday, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman handed down the sentence for Dawan Pecot, 38. He will not be eligible for parole.

In November, Pecot was convicted by a jury after a criminal trial on first-degree murder and second-degree robbery charges for the Aug. 22, 2022, killing. Pecot was attempting to rob the poker room when security guard Sean Bernal, 27, apprehended him inside the cardroom. Bernal pulled out a taser and ordered Pecot to walk out of the building.

Once outside, Pecot displayed a gun before returning to the casino and heading to the cashier’s cage. He aimed the gun at a casino employee and demanded money. But Bernal got back inside the building and approached Pecot. He pulled out his taser again and tried to zap Pecot.

Pecot shot Bernal once in the neck. The single shot killed Bernal. He handed Pecot over $38K before running out of the casino. A cardroom worker followed him to a nearby vehicle.

When police officers arrived at the casino, Pecot exited his car and fired a shot at the casino employee. Pecot then tried to run away, but officers stopped him, and he was arrested.

He initially claimed he was short of breath, so officers took him to a local hospital, according to CBS News. After being seen by a doctor, he was booked at the Sacramento County Main Jail.

Security Guard Regarded as Hero

Following the shooting,  Bernal’s mother, Susan Bernal, told Sacramento TV station KTXL her son loved his job and explained he went after the robber to protect the public.

He wouldn’t have been able to live with himself and come home that night or that day if he’d known that he didn’t do nothing and somebody else got killed, ” Susan Bernal said in an interview.

Bernal was also survived by a daughter who was one year old when he was murdered.

Prior Shootings

In 2021, Renee Walker was shot outside the cardroom. She died three days after the incident. Arviel Robertson, 36, was charged with Walker’s death. The homicide case is pending in a California court.

In 2016, a casino employee, Nicholas Broadway, was fatally shot outside The Capitol Casino. Broadway was caught in an exchange of gunfire between an off-duty Sacramento police officer and Luis Alfonso Castillo. Castillo was arrested and later sentenced to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder.