RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) – A former Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on murder charges in a 2014 shooting death in Coachella that was initially ruled as justified.
The Riverside County district attorney’s office reports that Oscar Rodriguez was taken into custody Thursday in the killing of Luis Carlos Morin Jr. The mother of Morin’s children, 39-year-old Diana Perez, was also arrested on allegations she aided in the killing.
On Jan. 27, 2014, Rodriguez shot and killed Morin in Coachella while attempting to arrest him on an outstanding warrant, the DA reports.
According to the Desert Sun, Rodriguez killed Morin in front of Morin’s mother.
Following an investigation, Rodriguez was cleared and the shooting was determined to be justified.
However, in 2015 Morin’s family filed a civil suit against the county claiming the shooting stemmed from a love triangle involving Rodriguez, Morin and Morin’s girlfriend, Perez. Perez and Morin had two children together, the Press-Enterprise reports.
During the course of the suit, it was revealed that Rodriguez had been having an affair with the mother of Morin’s children, the DA said.
In February of 2016, the county agreed to pay $7 million to settle the lawsuit, the Desert Sun reports.
The investigation into the shooting was then reopened and the case was presented to a grand jury. This month, the grand jury charged Rodriguez with one count each of murder and the use of a firearm causing death, the DA said.
The grand jury also charged Perez with one count of being an accessory to murder.
Rodriguez was placed on administrative leave in Sept. 2015, the Desert Sun reports, and is no longer with the sheriff’s department.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, while Perez faces up to three years in prison.
Rodriguez will be arraigned Friday afternoon at the Larson Justice Center in Indio. Perez will be arraigned Jan. 3.