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Senior Investigator In the District Attorney's Office
Member, District Attorney's Office
Investigator With the Child Abduction Unit
PE.com | Inland Southern California | Inland News
District Attorney's investigator Daniel L. Riter was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2003 for fatally shooting a 32-year-old Palm Desert man during a confrontation outside the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission. A jury rejected a murder charge but found Riter guilty of involuntary manslaughter, deciding that Riter did not mean to kill the man but acted with criminal negligence. Defense attorneys had argued that Riter's gun discharged accidentally.The prosecutor claimed that Riter was angry when he shot the man at close range. More recently, a Riverside County Superior Court judge ruled that a Beaumont police officer must stand trial for striking a handcuffed prisoner in the back of his squad car.
thedesertsun.com | Daniel Riter sentenced to 7 years
Daniel Riter sentenced to 7 yearsthedesertsun.com | Daniel Riter sentenced to 7 years> Daniel Riter sentenced to 7 yearsRIVERSIDE -- Family and friends who filled half the courtroom listened in silence, occasionally wiping away tears, as Daniel Riter was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday for the fatal on-duty shooting of a Palm Desert man.Judge W. Charles Morgan sentenced Riter, a former Riverside County district attorney's investigator, to two years for involuntary manslaughter plus five additional years for a gun-use allegation."My brother is dead and (Riter) is going to jail.A jury in July found Riter, 57, of Bermuda Dunes guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Herrera's death on Feb. 1, 2002, near the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission in Indio.Riter, an investigator with the district attorney's Child Abduction Unit until his retirement in June, was attempting to take two children into county custody when the shooting occurred.Riter initially was charged with second-degree murder.The state attorney general's office alleged Riter intentionally shot Herrera out of anger and frustration because Herrera had challenged his authority.At the sentencing hearing Friday, defense attorney Ira Salzman asked Morgan to grant probation for Riter as recommended in a Riverside County probation report and a diagnostic study by the state Department of Corrections.Salzman also noted that Riter, who's been in custody, "has been punished."
thedesertsun.com | Transcript: Evidence bolsters witnesses’ testimony
The following witnesses testified in the Riverside County grand jury proceeding that resulted in the murder indictment of Daniel Riter, a Riverside County District Attorney's investigator:A special criminal grand jury indicted Daniel Riter, a Riverside County District Attorney's investigator, on Sept. 30 for murder in connection with the shooting of Jesse Herrera in February.Riter, 56, is scheduled to be arraigned on the second-degree murder charge on Oct. 29.Twenty witnesses testified at the closed proceeding held Sept. 24-27 and Sept. 30.The fatal shooting occurred on Feb. 1 on Manila Avenue just east of Indio city limits and near the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission.Riter was at the location working on a child custody matter.According to initial sheriff's reports, at some point as he tried to talk to a group of people, Riter nearly was run over by a truck driven by Herrera.He fired shots in self-defense.But four eyewitnesses who testified before the grand jury said Riter came right up to the driver's side door and fired at Herrera either before or shortly after the truck moved forward.According to the testimony of a pathologist and a gun expert, the muzzle of Riter's gun was between 9 inches and 12 inches from Herrera's head when it was fired.The case is being prosecuted by the state Attorney General's Office to avoid a conflict of interest since Riter is a district attorney's employee.At that point, Riter moved a few steps, took aim and fired, Kivenas testified.According to testimony, Riter had gone to the rescue mission to make contact with Parks and locate her two children pursuant to a court order.When contacted at the mission, Parks said her children were at her sister's home, according to John Bullard, an investigating technician who accompanied Riter.Things started getting out of hand when Riter and Parks walked outside and were approached by Bradley, who started shoving Riter, Bullard testified.Things started getting out of hand when Riter and Parks walked outside and were approached by Bradley, who started shoving Riter, Bullard testified.Parks and Bradley got in the truck and, as the driver started the truck, Riter, who'd asked Parks to get out, fired shots at the tires, Bullard said.Parks, whose children were in the truck and not at her sister's, said after Herrera backed up and struck a car, Riter "ran directly to the side of the driver's side window, put his arm out and shot (Herrera)."
thedesertsun.com | Riter guilty in man’s death
The jury in the trial of Daniel Riter, a senior investigator in the Riverside County district attorney's office, reached its verdict after 4 1/2 days of deliberations in Superior Court in Riverside.Riter was accused of killing Jesus "Jesse" Pena Herrera, 32, of Palm Desert in February 2002 outside the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission near Indio.Riter is the first Riverside County peace officer tried for murder, according to the state attorney general's office.Riter could get anything from probation to as many as 14 years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter count and a gun-use enhancement the jury found true.Although he sought a verdict of second-degree murder, Deputy Attorney General Michael Murphy said he was satisfied with the outcome."I think it was a just verdict," he said. "It was a difficult case for the jury."In finding Riter guilty of involuntary manslaughter, the jury determined there was evidence of an unlawful killing, Murphy said.Riter's stated defense was that the shooting of Herrera was unintentional and justified.Riter had gone to the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission to put two children into county protective custody, according to trial testimony.Riter testified at his trial that he thought he was going to die."I'm dead," he said of his first thought."I was afraid."As for the shooting itself, Riter described his memory of events as "fuzzy."Riter has been free on $50,000 bail.
Calif. Bill Would Protect Police in Gun Manslaughter Cases
La Suer said his bill was prompted by the case of investigator Daniel Riter of the Riverside County district attorney's office.Riter was convicted last July of involuntary manslaughter for shooting Jesus Pena Herrera in February 2002 while trying to detain a woman whose two children had been declared wards of the court.Riter was sentenced to seven years in prison, five of which were under the extended gun law.