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No Charges for Homeless Campbell Man Who Stabbed Teen; It Was Self Defense, Say Cops, DA

Police and prosecutors decline to file charges after further investigation into Sunday incident at John D. Morgan Park in Campbell.

Todd Tharp, 24, released from jail after being arrested for suspicion of murder in Campbell. (Photo: Campbell Police Department.)
Todd Tharp, 24, released from jail after being arrested for suspicion of murder in Campbell. (Photo: Campbell Police Department.)
Prosecutors in San Jose have declined to file charges against a homeless man in the stabbing death Sunday of a teen boy after concluding the man acted in self defense while being assaulted, authorities said.

Todd Tharp, 24, a transient who was arrested at a park in Campbell on Sunday following the stabbing of 16-year-old Ivan Diaz, was released from the Santa Clara County Main Jail on Tuesday night, Campbell Police Department Sgt. Gary Berg.

Police and the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office made the decision after reviewing evidence that Diaz and at least three others were kicking Tharp after knocking him down prior to the stabbing, Berg said.

Tharp, 24, was arrested after police found him injured at 8:26 p.m. Sunday in the area of John D. Morgan Park at 540 W. Rincon Ave., police said. Diaz, of San Jose, was taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center with a stab wound and pronounced dead at 2:55 a.m. Monday, police said.

Tharp and the four others, who were aged 15 to the early 20s, had been having a "positive interaction" that evening with each other when someone physically assaulted Tharp, Berg said.

Diaz and the others started kicking Tharp, who then stabbed Diaz, Berg said. Authorities looked at evidence at the scene and results of an autopsy by the medical examiner's office before concluding Tharp was trying to defend himself, Berg said.

"At this point the evidence suggests that Mr. Tharp was acting in self defense and the district attorney's office is not filing charges at this time," Berg said.

A representative of the district attorney's office confirmed today that charges would not be filed against Tharp after the evidence indicated self defense.

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mosleylm March 20, 2014 at 01:28 PM
Hopefully now that this man has been released he will be "safe". The DA should file charges on those responsible for his beating. Justice will prevail.
Al March 20, 2014 at 05:45 PM
Maybe they should look for the other three? Probably the group is on a camera somewhere?

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