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$1 million reward in Dorner case still in place, LAPD says

April 05, 2013|By Richard Winton and Joe Serna
  • Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck speaks at a new conference about Christopher Dorner in February.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck speaks at a new conference about Christopher… (Nick Ut / Associated Press )

Despite several agencies withdrawing their contributions, Los Angles Police Chief Charlie Beck pledged Friday there is still a $1 million reward in the Christopher Dorner case.

Beck is expected to outline the criteria to receive the reward Friday afternoon.

Dozens of people and agencies donated to a $1.2 million reward for Dorner’s capture and conviction. The former Los Angeles police officer was fired and subsequently went on a revenge-fueled hunt across four Southern California counties. Police say he killed two police officers and a police officer’s daughter and her fiance.

FULL COVERAGE: Sweeping manhunt for ex-cop

He was eventually tracked down in Big Bear, where he engaged in a shootout with state and local authorities before shooting himself.

Two parties who encountered Dorner and called police minutes before the hunt’s violent conclusion are now laying claim to the reward, arguing he was “captured” in the Big Bear cabin before he took his own life.

Riverside and a state police union--the 64,000-member Peace Officers Research Assn. of California--have pulled their money from the pot, arguing Dorner was not convicted, therefore no one is entitled to the reward.

WHO THEY WERE: Victims in the Dorner case

Los Angeles city officials were not swayed. Despite not being able to bring Dorner to trial, officials have insisted the reward should still be paid.

"We made a pledge based on very specific information and criteria," said Ron Cottingham, the union's president. "Now everything has changed. It is not what our board of directors voted on."

Others among the roughly 25-member donor group are considering whether to follow Riverside and the Peace Officers Research Assn. of California. Most notably, the head of the L.A. Police Protective League, which represents rank-and-file LAPD officers, said his group is weighing its options.

TIMELINE: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

The latest about-face further complicates matters for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Beck, who have dug in amid the mounting concern by other donors. Vicki Curry, a spokeswoman for the mayor, had vowed that no matter how many groups withdraw, there would still be a $1-million reward offered.

LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese, who is coordinating the reward for Beck, has said that while it is up to each donor to decide whether it wants to follow through on its pledge, it would be "disingenuous" to withdraw the reward altogether simply because Dorner was not brought to trial.

Overshadowing the matter are two claims that have been made on the reward since Dorner's death Feb. 12 -- by a couple near Big Bear who were tied up and whose car was stolen by Dorner, and by a man whose pickup truck Dorner later hijacked.

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richard.winton@latimes.com

joseph.serna@latimes.com

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