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Ex-Deputy Who Killed Unarmed Man Convicted of Murder


Sunday, December 8th, 2013
Issue 49, Volume 17.


MURRIETA - An off-duty Riverside County sheriff's deputy who gunned down an unarmed man during a dispute at a Murrieta bar was convicted today of second-degree murder.

A Murrieta jury announced verdicts in the trial of Dayle William Long shortly after beginning deliberations this morning. The panel began weighing evidence following closing statements Tuesday.

Along with the murder count, jurors found true a sentence-enhancing allegation that Long used a firearm to kill 36-year-old Samuel Vanettes of Winchester on the night of Dec. 21, 2011.

Long could face 40 years to life in prison when he's sentenced by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Angel Bermudez on Jan. 30.

The trial began Nov. 13. Long, 44, remains held without bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

According to a trial brief filed by the prosecution, at least 11 people witnessed the defendant shoot Vanettes at point-blank range inside Spelly's Bar & Grill at 40675 Murrieta Hot Springs Road. The victim had gone there with his sister and several friends, prosecutors said.

The brief states that Long had joined a retired colleague for drinks at the pub several hours before the attack. During the evening, Vanettes invited the defendant to take part in a game of team darts. The off-duty lawman parted company with his friend and joined the group, continuing to drink beer and hard liquor, prosecutors allege.

Shortly before 8 p.m., Long and Vanettes became embroiled in a seemingly insignificant argument about whether a certain street was located in Orange County. Vanettes's friend, Danny Burnside, told investigators that the defendant became belligerent and challenged Vanettes to "go outside" and fight.

Long allegedly stood up, removed a compact .45-caliber handgun from his waistband and leveled it at Vanettes and his friends, then sat back down, according to court papers.

The defendant denied pulling his gun until the actual shooting.

Another of Vanettes's friends stepped in front of the defendant and shouted an expletive, posturing aggressively, a bar patron told detectives.

All witnesses acknowledged that Long began backing away from the table where Vanettes and the group were seated and that Vanettes approached Long in an attempt to defuse the situation.

The bartender told investigators there was some shoving, and while several witnesses described Long as appearing "upset," most witnesses said he was acting "calm" as he backed toward the bar exit, court papers stated.

The prosecution alleges that Long pulled his .45 a second time, leveling it at Vanettes from at least five feet away and firing six times. Long testified that Vanettes attempted to take his pistol from him.

Vanettes was hit by four bullets -- in the chest, shoulder, abdomen and cheek, according to an autopsy. He died at the scene.

According to the brief, after initially refusing, Long submitted to a blood test four hours after the shooting and was right at .08 percent blood-alcohol content, prosecutors said.

The 10-year law enforcement veteran last worked as a bailiff at one of the three downtown Riverside courthouses. The sheriff's department fired him in March 2012.

Jurors Begin Third Day of Deliberations in Ex-Deputy's Murder Trial

MURRIETA - Jurors are slated to begin their third day of deliberations today in the trial of an off-duty Riverside County sheriff's deputy accused of gunning down an unarmed patron at a Murrieta bar.

A Murrieta jury began weighing the fate of Dayle William Long Tuesday. The ex-lawman, who maintains that he fired in self-defense, could face 50 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations in the Dec. 21, 2011, death of 36-year-old Samuel Vanettes of Winchester.

The trial began Nov. 13. Long, 44, remains held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

According to a trial brief filed by the prosecution, at least 11 people witnessed the defendant shoot Vanettes at point-blank range inside Spelly's Bar & Grill at 40675 Murrieta Hot Springs Road. The victim had gone there with his sister and several friends, prosecutors said.

The brief states that Long had joined a retired colleague for drinks at the pub several hours before the attack. During the evening, Vanettes invited the defendant to take part in a game of team darts. The off-duty lawman parted company with his friend and joined the group, continuing to drink beer and hard liquor, prosecutors allege.

Shortly before 8 p.m., Long and Vanettes became embroiled in a seemingly insignificant argument about whether a certain street was located in Orange County. Vanettes's friend, Danny Burnside, told investigators that the defendant became belligerent and challenged Vanettes to "go outside" and fight.

Long allegedly stood up, removed a compact .45-caliber handgun from his waistband and leveled it at Vanettes and his friends, then sat back down, according to court papers.

The defendant denied pulling his gun until the actual shooting.

Another of Vanettes's friends stepped in front of the defendant and shouted an expletive, posturing aggressively, a bar patron told detectives.

All witnesses acknowledged that Long began backing away from the table where Vanettes and the group were seated and that Vanettes approached Long in an attempt to defuse the situation.

The bartender told investigators there was some shoving, and while several witnesses described Long as appearing "upset," most witnesses said he was acting "calm" as he backed toward the bar exit, court papers stated.

The prosecution alleges that Long pulled his .45 a second time, leveling it at Vanettes from at least five feet away and firing six times. Long testified that Vanettes attempted to take his pistol from him.

Vanettes was hit by four bullets -- in the chest, shoulder, abdomen and cheek, according to an autopsy. He died at the scene.

According to the brief, after initially refusing, Long submitted to a blood test four hours after the shooting and was right at .08 percent blood-alcohol content, prosecutors said.

The 10-year law enforcement veteran last worked as a bailiff at one of the three downtown Riverside courthouses. The sheriff's department fired him in March 2012.

No Verdict in Ex-Deputy's Murder Trial

MURRIETA - Jurors completed their first full day of deliberations today without reaching a verdict in the trial of an off-duty Riverside County sheriff's deputy accused of gunning down an unarmed patron at a Murrieta bar.

Jurors weighing the fate of 44-year-old Dayle William Long are scheduled to return Thursday morning to continue deliberations, which got underway Tuesday afternoon. The trial began Nov. 13.

The ex-lawman, who maintains that he fired in self-defense, could face 50 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations in the Dec. 21, 2011, death of 36-year-old Samuel Vanettes of Winchester.

According to the prosecution, at least 11 people witnessed the defendant shoot Vanettes at point-blank range inside Spelly's Bar & Grill at 40675 Murrieta Hot Springs Road. The victim had gone there with his sister and several friends.

A trial brief prepared by the prosecution states that Long had joined a retired colleague for drinks at the pub several hours before the attack. During the evening, Vanettes invited the defendant to take part in a game of team darts. The off-duty lawman parted company with his friend and joined the group, continuing to drink beer and hard liquor, according to prosecutors.

Shortly before 8 p.m., Long and Vanettes became embroiled in a seemingly insignificant argument about whether a certain street was located in Orange County. Vanettes's friend, Danny Burnside, told investigators that the defendant became belligerent and challenged Vanettes to "go outside" and fight.

Long allegedly stood up, removed a compact .45-caliber handgun from his waistband and leveled it at Vanettes and his friends, then sat back down.

The defendant denied pulling his gun until the actual shooting.

Another of Vanettes's friends stepped in front of the defendant and shouted an expletive, posturing aggressively, a bar patron told detectives.

All witnesses acknowledged that Long began backing away from the table where Vanettes and the group were seated and that Vanettes approached Long in an attempt Advertisement
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to defuse the situation.

The bartender told investigators there was some shoving, and while several witnesses described Long as appearing "upset," most witnesses said he was acting "calm" as he backed toward the bar exit, court papers state.

The prosecution alleges that Long pulled his .45 a second time, leveling it at Vanettes from at least five feet away and firing six times. Long testified that Vanettes attempted to take his pistol from him.

Vanettes was hit by four bullets -- in the chest, shoulder, abdomen and cheek. He died at the scene.

After initially refusing, Long submitted to a blood test four hours after the shooting and was right at .08 percent blood-alcohol content, prosecutors said.

The 10-year law enforcement veteran last worked as a bailiff at one of the three downtown Riverside courthouses. The sheriff's department fired him in March 2012.

Long is in custody in lieu of $1 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

Defense Rests in Trial of Deputy Accused of Murder

MURRIETA- The defense rested its case today in the trial of an off-duty Riverside County sheriff's deputy accused of gunning down an unarmed patron at a Murrieta bar during an argument.

Dayle William Long could face 50 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations in the Dec. 21, 2011, shooting death of 36-year-old Samuel Vanettes of Winchester.

The trial got underway Nov. 13, and Long spent four days on the witness stand. The ex-lawman, who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, testified that he fired in self-defense, believing his life was in imminent danger.

The prosecution was calling rebuttal witnesses this afternoon. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Angel Bermudez scheduled closing statements for 9 a.m. tomorrow at the Southwest Justice Center.

According to a trial brief filed by the prosecution, at least 11 people witnessed Long shoot Vanettes at point-blank range inside Spelly's Bar & Grill at 40675 Murrieta Hot Springs Road. The victim had gone there with his sister and several friends.

The brief states that Long had joined a retired colleague for drinks at the pub several hours before the attack. During the evening, Vanettes approached the defendant and asked if he would like to join in a game of team darts because the victim's group was a person short.

Long's colleague left, and the off-duty lawman joined the group, continuing to drink beer and hard liquor, according to prosecutors.

Shortly before 8 p.m., Long and Vanettes became embroiled in a seemingly insignificant argument about whether a certain street was located in Orange County. Vanettes's friend, Danny Burnside, told investigators that the defendant became belligerent and invited Vanettes to "go outside" and fight.

Long allegedly stood up, removed a compact .45-caliber handgun from his waistband and leveled it at Vanettes and his friends, then sat back down.

The 44-year-old defendant denied pulling his gun until the actual shooting.

Another of Vanettes's friends, Chris Hull, stepped in front of the defendant and shouted an expletive, gesticulating as if he was prepared to fight him, a bar patron told detectives.

All witnesses acknowledged that Long began backing away from the table where Vanettes and the group were seated and that Vanettes approached Long in an attempt to defuse the situation.

No punches were thrown, though the bartender said there was some shoving, and while several witnesses described Long as appearing "upset," most witnesses said he was acting "calm" as he backed toward the bar exit, according to the brief.

The prosecution alleges that Long pulled his .45 a second time, leveling it at Vanettes from at least five feet away and firing six times, including once after the victim had fallen to the ground. Long testified that Vanettes attempted to grab his pistol and take it from him.

Vanettes was hit by four bullets -- in the chest, shoulder, abdomen and cheek. He died at the scene.

According to the brief, Long was waiting outside the establishment when Murrieta police officers arrived. The 10-year law enforcement veteran initially refused to submit to a blood test to determine his level of intoxication -- four hours after the shooting -- but was told that he had to comply pursuant to sheriff's department policy. The test showed he was right at .08 percent blood-alcohol content, prosecutors said.

Long last worked as a bailiff at one of the three downtown Riverside courthouses. The sheriff's department fired him in March 2012.

Testimony to Conclude in Trial of Deputy Accused of Murder Today

MURRIETA - The defense is expected to rest today in the trial of an off-duty Riverside County sheriff's deputy accused of gunning down an unarmed patron at a Murrieta bar during an argument.

Dayle William Long could face 50 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations in the Dec. 21, 2011, shooting of 36-year-old Samuel Vanettes of Winchester.

The trial got underway Nov. 13. Long has been on the witness stand since last Monday.

The ex-lawman, who remains held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, has testified that he fired in self-defense, believing his life was in imminent danger.

According to a trial brief filed by the prosecution, at least 11 people witnessed Long shoot Vanettes at point-blank range inside Spelly's Bar & Grill at 40675 Murrieta Hot Springs Road. The victim had gone there with his sister and several friends to socialize on the night of his death, prosecutors said.

The brief states that Long had joined a retired colleague for drinks at the pub several hours before the attack. During the evening, Vanettes approached the defendant and asked if he would like to join in a game of team darts because the victim's group was a person short.

Long's colleague left, and the off-duty lawman joined the group, continuing to drink beer and hard liquor, prosecutors allege.

Shortly before 8 p.m., Long and Vanettes became embroiled in a seemingly insignificant argument about whether a certain street was located in Orange County. Vanettes's friend, Danny Burnside, told investigators that the defendant became belligerent and invited Vanettes to "go outside" and fight.

Long allegedly stood up, removed a compact .45-caliber handgun from his waistband and leveled it at Vanettes and his friends, then sat back down, according to court papers.

The 44-year-old defendant has denied pulling his gun until the actual shooting.

Vanettes's friend, Chris Hull, stepped in front of the defendant and shouted an expletive, gesticulating as if he was prepared to fight him, a bar patron told detectives.

All witnesses acknowledged that Long began backing away from the table where Vanettes and the group were seated and that Vanettes approached Long in an attempt to defuse the situation.

No punches were thrown, though the bartender said there was some shoving, and while several witnesses described Long as appearing "upset," most witnesses said he was acting "calm" as he backed toward the bar exit, according to the brief.

The prosecution alleges that Long pulled his .45 a second time, leveling it at Vanettes from at least five feet away and firing six times, including once after the victim had fallen to the ground. Long testified that Vanettes attempted to grab his pistol and take it from him.

Vanettes was hit by four bullets -- in the chest, shoulder, abdomen and cheek, according to an autopsy. He died at the scene.

According to the brief, Long was waiting outside the establishment when Murrieta police officers arrived and surrendered. The 10-year law enforcement veteran initially refused to submit to a blood test to determine his level of intoxication -- four hours after the shooting -- but was told that he had to comply pursuant to sheriff's department policy. The test showed he was right at .08 percent blood-alcohol content, prosecutors said.

Long last worked as a bailiff at one of the three downtown Riverside courthouses. The sheriff's department fired him in March 2012.


 

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