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D.A. Staffer Gets Prison, Evaluation in Fatal Shooting

September 13, 2003|Lance Pugmire | Times Staff Writer

A Riverside County judge on Friday ordered a former district attorney's investigator to state prison while a social and psychological evaluation is compiled to help determine his sentence for involuntary manslaughter.

Former investigator Dan Riter "is going to be punished, and [the evaluation] will help me," Judge W. Charles Morgan announced in court. The sentence could range from probation to 14 years in state prison.

Riter's attorney, Michael P. Stone, and the prosecutor, Deputy Atty. Gen. Michael Murphy, both declined to comment.

Riter, who turned 57 on Friday, was convicted July 3 of the fatal shooting of Jesus Pena "Jesse" Herrera, 32, of Indio outside the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission on Feb. 1, 2002.

Riter fired his gun into the cab of Herrera's truck -- within 12 inches of Herrera's head -- while trying to detain a female passenger whose two young children in the truck had been declared wards of the court.

Herrera's mother has received a $1.2-million settlement from Riverside County for her son's death.

Riter, a 23-year veteran of the district's attorney's office, was on paid administrative leave from his $77,000-a-year position until he retired June 23.

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