Was Pittsburg Murder Drug Related?

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On Tuesday night, 59-year-old PC World technical editor Rex Farrance was gunned down in his Pittsburg home in front of his wife, a registered nurse, who was also pistol-whipped. On Wednesday, as reported by the Chronicle, Pittsburg police said the home-invasion robbery occurred because of the presence of a large amount of unspecified illegal drugs in the Farrance home.

"We have substantial reason to believe that the victim and his wife were involved in the possession of and, potentially, the distribution of illegal narcotics," Inspector John Conaty said.

Today, the Chron reports, Farrance's son says the drug was marijuana, and it was his.

"I have a prescription," said Sterling Farrance, nineteen. "I'm a patient. It was medical. This one officer I remember at the house, he had this predisposition to think it was all illegal."

Farrance's stepdaughter, Kavita Johnopoulos, told the Chron that Farrance was a member of the Bay Point Rod and Gun Club, and that he was most likely targeted for his guns and the money kept in the house. "It's sick that they would do this, that they would give false information on what's going on in that home," Johnopoulos said of the police.

Rex Farrance had no criminal history, and both his coworkers at PC World as well as neighbors reached by the Chron were uniform in their shock that he or his wife could have been involved with illegal drugs.

Maybe the Pittsburg PD wanted to calm the public by assuring them that this was a targeted robbery/slaying. But if there was only marijuana in the house, and if that marijuana was medically prescribed to Sterling Farrance, then it seems Inspector Conaty, who was not immediately available for comment, might have some explaining to do.

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