A Palm Springs Police Department officer who was present when a city resident was fatally shot by a bounty hunter won’t face charges.
Driving the news: According to a letter obtained by The Desert Sun (🔒), Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin informed Police Chief Andy Mills about the decision in July.
- “After careful review, we have concluded that there is no evidence of criminal liability on the officer’s part,” Hestrin wrote in the letter obtained by reporter Christopher Damien.
At issue: Two Palm Springs officers were present in the early morning hours of April 23, 2021 when a bounty hunter, Fabian Hector Herrera, shot and killed 33-year-old David Spann in the condominium he lived in off East Villa Escuela.
- According to investigators, Herrera opened fire on Spann when the victim lunged toward him and law enforcement officers inside Spann’s home.
- The investigation only involved one of the Palm Springs officers present. That officer, Damien wrote, had used his taser on Spann before Herrera shot him. Both officers were back on duty in the city following the incident.
Looking back: Herrera was not licensed as a bounty hunter at the time of the incident, but was still contracted by another bail agent to make the apprehension of Spann. Officers were called to the location by both Spann and Herrera.
- At the time, Spann had been out on bail for allegedly violating a protective order and his home detention ankle bracelet had been deactivated for over 48 hours. However, there was no warrant for his arrest.
State of play: Among other charges, Herrera stands accused of murder and being a convicted felon in possession of a gun and ammunition.
- Herrera could face life in prison if convicted. He has two felony convictions, both for assault with a deadly weapon — one in Los Angeles County, and the other in Riverside County, according to court records.
- His mother, 53-year-old Lisa Roberta Vargas, was additionally arrested and is charged with murder.