Oscar Rodriguez and Diana Perez

Deputy fatally shoots romantic rival in cold blood, claims it was justified use of force: Prosecutor

A California man identified as a former sheriff’s deputy was arrested for murder in a 2014 shooting death that had been initially ruled a justified use of force.

As KABC reported, Oscar Rodriguez, then a Riverside County sheriff’s office, was involved in an on-duty shooting in January 2014 during what he described as an attempt to arrest a suspect on an outstanding warrant.

An initial investigation into Luis Carlos Morin Jr.’s death seemed to clear Rodriguez, but the victim’s family pushed for a more thorough look into the incident.

In a civil suit filed against the county, Morin’s family argued that the mother of his children was having an affair with Rodriguez. On the night of his death, the suit claims Rodriguez was lying in wait at Morin’s home and came up to him from behind, kicked him to the ground and fired the fatal shot.

That suit resulted in a multimillion-dollar settlement and sparked a fresh investigation, which in turn led to an indictment against Rodriguez on murder charges. He resigned from his position in law enforcement last year.

District Attorney Mike Hestrin said the circumstances of the case present an obvious conclusion.

“This was a love triangle,” he said. “The deputy was on-duty, but he was not acting in the course of his duty. He was taking care of personal things that he was trying to do.”

Rodriguez could face life behind bars if convicted. He was arrested and jailed with bond set at $1 million. Perez was also arrested on suspicion that she was an accessory to the crime. If convicted, she serve up to a three-year sentence.

[Featured image: Oscar Rodriguez and Diana Perez/Riverside County Sheriff’s Department]