The trial for a Riverside County sheriff's deputy who is accused of shooting an unarmed man outside a Murrieta bar when he was off duty is nearing its start date.
According to the Murrieta Patch, the fatal shooting occurred in Dec. 2011. Evidently, the deputy had been at Spelly's Pub and Grille when an argument broke out. The prosecution has alleged that the fight was strictly verbal until the 43-year-old deputy took out a .45 and shot the 36-year-old victim in the chest. The man died as a result of his wounds.
The sheriff's deputy has been charged with first-degree murder. He is being held at Southwest Detention Center in lieu of $1 million bail.
We thought there were two important things to note about this story.
The first is that every person, including the sheriff's deputy, is innocent until proven guilty. That is a truism of our criminal justice system that extends to everyone.
Second, even if the sheriff's deputy is eventually found not guilty, it is an understatement to say that he was involved in a situation that would have been good to avoid altogether. This show that law enforcement officers are not infallible. They certainly deserve our respect, but that does not mean some of them do not occasionally make mistakes, just as we all do.
As Riverside County Criminal Defense attorneys, we serve clients from the communities of Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Menifee, Perris, Banning, Corona, Hemet and Riverside. You are welcome to contact us if you think it would be helpful to have more information about the sort of legal counsel we provide.