RIVERSIDE, California. – A former Southern California sheriff’s deputy who was previously cleared of wrongdoing has been charged with the murder of the father of his beloved children.
Former Deputy Oscar Rodriguez was Thursday arrested in 2014 shooting death of Luis Carlos Morin, Jr., the Riverside County district attorney’s office said in a statement.
Prosecutors had previously determined that Rodriguez was justified in the shooting of Morin during an attempt to arrest him on a warrant. But they reopened the case after learning in a civil lawsuit filed by Morin, the Rodriguez family was closely involved with the mother of Morin children, ” the statement said.
“On the basis of the supplementary information, we realized that this is not an officer-involved shooting review, it was a murder investigation,” the statement said.
Rodriguez was indicted on a charge of murder and use of a firearm. He is scheduled to appear in court in Indio on Friday.
Perez, who was on Thursday arrested on charges of accessory to murder, is expected to be arraigned Jan. 3
It was not immediately known which lawyers were representing Rodriguez and Perez. A message was left for attorney Douglas Smith, who treated Rodriguez in the civil case.
John Hall, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, could not immediately explain what led the agency to relieve Rodriguez in the first place.
The shooting occurred Jan. 27, 2014, after Morin back to his mother’s house in Coachella, a desert city southeast of Palm Springs — attending a family birthday party.
Rodriguez trying to keep Morin from behind and then held him on the ground after Morin fell, firing at least one shot, Morin’s family said in federal court filings.
Rodriguez alleged in court papers to have shot Morin in self-defense after trying to arrest him on two warrants.