Story Summary

Manhunt for Former Cop Christopher Dorner

dorner-bgAuthorities have positively identified the remains found in a burned cabin in the Big Bear area as those of fugitive former cop Christopher Dorner.

 

The identification brought to and end the intense manhunt for the quadruple murder suspect.

Dorner is believed to have penned an angry manifesto saying he was unfairly fired from the LAPD and was seeking vengeance.

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Law enforcement officers who faced off with Christopher Dorner at a cabin near Big Bear have been formally cleared of wrongdoing by the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office.

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A view of the burned-out cabin where Christopher Dorner died after barricading himself inside during a standoff with police. (John Valenzuela / Associated Press / March 29, 2013)

In a 59-page report released Tuesday, officials said the many sheriff’s deputies, police officers and game wardens who were involved in the standoff violated no laws and “had no choice” but to engage in a fierce firefight with the fugitive.

Holed up in the cabin, Dorner eventually killed himself with a gunshot to the head. The report laid the blame for his demise at Dorner’s own feet.

For hours, prosecutors wrote, he refused to give himself up and unleashed “a lethal barrage” of gunfire on law enforcement officials who had surrounded the cabin.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

filephoto Christopher Dorner

File photo of Christopher Dorner

L.A. County officials agreed Tuesday to divide $100,000 in reward money for aiding in the hunt for ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner between a couple held hostage in their home and a man who found his burned-out truck in Big Bear.

Karen and Jim Reynolds will get $80,000 of the reward money and Daniel McGowan $20,000, the county Board of Supervisors decided.

Dorner held the Reynoldses at gunpoint in their Big Bear cabin, tied them up and stole their SUV. The couple escaped and contacted law enforcement, giving a description of the vehicle.

McGowan, who worked at a Big Bear ski resort, found Dorner’s burned-out truck on Feb. 7 and alerted officials, leading to a search focused in the Big Bear area.

Click here to read the full story at LATimes.com.

filephoto Christopher Dorner

File photo of Christopher Dorner

LOS ANGELES — In the months since Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck launched a review of Christopher Dorner’s firing and his allegations of racism and corruption in the LAPD, police officials have remained silent on their findings.

The much-anticipated report, Beck said repeatedly, would be made public when it was completed sometime later this month.

That carefully laid plan was upended Tuesday by an Associated Press report that the department had reached the conclusion that Dorner’s firing was appropriate and his claims of corruption unfounded.

After he was fired in 2009 for falsely accusing his partner of kicking a handcuffed mentally-ill man, Dorner resurfaced in February, bent on seeking revenge for his ouster.

Click here to read the full story at the LATimes.com.

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The decision of a three-judge panel to split the Christopher Dorner reward money three ways was already being challenged on Friday.

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Richard Heltebrake, seen on the KTLA Morning News

Richard Heltebrake, a camp ranger who wasn’t slated to split the $1 million reward, was fighting for a share of the money.

Heltebrake was expected in Los Angeles County Superior Court in downtown L.A. on Friday.

He planned to ask a judge for a temporary restraining order to block the release of any funds until he can make his case.

Heltebrake called 911 after his white pickup truck was carjacked by Dorner in Big Bear on Feb. 12.

In papers filed in Superior Court, his attorney argued that Heltebrake should receive a “sum not less than one million dollars” and “special damages.”

However, the panel of judges that decided how to divide the money disagreed.They said that police already knew Dorner was in the area when they got Heltebrake’s 911 call.

“Mr. Heltebrake’s phone call did not provide information leading to Dorner’s capture,” a report detailing the judges’ decision said.

“Law enforcement had already spotted Dorner driving a white pickup,” according to the report.

The decision about how the money would be distributed came down on Tuesday.

The panel awarded 80 percent of the funds to a couple who were bound and gagged by Dorner in their Big Bear condo.

Karen Reynolds called 911 on Feb. 12 after she and her husband broke free.She provided her location and a description of the couple’s Nissan SUV that Dorner had stolen.

“Had Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds failed promptly to escape their restraints and contact law enforcement, it is likely Dorner would have escaped,” the report said.

Dorner was killed hours later when he turned the gun on himself during a final standoff with police at a cabin in Seven Oaks.

Five percent of the reward was given to tow truck driver R. Lee McDaniel, who flagged down police on Feb. 7 after seeing Dorner at a gas station in Corona

The remaining 15 percent of the money was allotted to ski resort employee Daniel McGowan.

After two early-morning shootouts with police on Feb. 7, including one that left a Riverside police officer dead, Dorner was still on the run.

Hours later, McGowan reported spotting Dorner’s burning pickup truck on a fire road in Big Bear.

That tip led authorities to the area where Dorner was ultimately located, the report said.

Dorner, 33, who was fired from the LAPD, was accused of killing four people, including two law enforcement officers, and wounding several others.

Authorities launched a sweeping manhunt for the fugitive after he allegedly shot an Irvine couple on Feb. 3.

There had been considerable debate about who — if anyone — would get the reward.

The language of the reward, which was fronted by numerous agencies, initially specified that it was for Dorner’s “capture and conviction.”

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTLA) — The $1-million reward offered in the Christopher Dorner manhunt will be divided among three parties, police announced Tuesday.

dorner-condoDorner, 33, a former LAPD officer, was accused of killing four people, including two law enforcement officers, and wounding several others.

He shot and killed himself during a final, fiery standoff with police at a cabin in Seven Oaks.

There were 12 claims filed, and of those, three were selected to share the reward money.

A panel of three judges was tasked with splitting the reward. Their decision was made public in a report released by the LAPD.

Eighty percent — or $800,000 — will go to James and Karen Reynolds, who were held hostage by Dorner in their Big Bear condo.

Karen Reynolds called 911 on Feb. 12 after she and her husband broke free, and gave police a description of the couple’s vehicle, which Dorner had stolen.

“Had Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds failed promptly to escape their restraints and contact law enforcement, it is likely Dorner would have escaped,” the report said.

Five percent of the reward will go to tow truck driver R. Lee McDaniel, who spotted Dorner at a gas station in Corona, narrowing down the search.

Dorner, 33, was accused of gunning down a couple in Irvine on Feb. 3.

Authorities launched an all-out manhunt, but Dorner’s exact whereabouts were unknown. There were even reports that he might have fled to Mexico.

McDaniel confirmed that Dorner was in the Inland Empire when he flagged down police on Feb. 7, saying he had spotted the fugitive in his truck moments before.

After two early-morning shootouts with police that day, including one that left a Riverside police officer dead, Dorner was still on the run.

Hours later, ski resort employee Daniel McGowan reported spotting Dorner’s burning pickup truck on a fire road in Big Bear.

His tip led authorities to the area where Dorner was ultimately located.

McGowan will get 15% of the reward because his “tip did not directly lead law enforcement to find Dorner,” according to the report.

None of the money was awarded to Richard Heltebrake, who was carjacked by Dorner after he fled the Reynolds’ condo.

It was determined that his phone call to police “did not lead to information leading to Dorner’s capture,” the report said.

Officers had already spotted Dorner in Heltebrake’s white pickup, the report added.

There had been considerable debate about who — if anyone — would get the reward.

The language of the reward, fronted by numerous agencies, initially specified that it was for Dorner’s “capture and conviction.”

That became irrelevant under the new criteria after Dorner’s death.

38-specialLAS VEGAS — A pawn shop owner says he’s auctioning off a gun sold to him by Christopher Doner in January.

George Bramlett at Bargain Pawn in North Las Vegas is hoping .38 Special once owned by the former LAPD officer could sell for thousands of dollars.

Bramlett told  The Associated Press he wants to donate the money to the families of two Inland Empire officers Dorner killed.

But administrators handling funds for San Bernardino County Sheriff Deputy Jeremiah MacKay and Riverside police Officer Michael Crain told the AP that the families don’t want the money.

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department said Friday that three retired judges will determine who gets the $1-million Christopher Dorner reward.

Officials said people have until April 19 to claim their portion of the money.

The reward – a collection of smaller donations from more than two dozen agencies, groups and individuals – was initially offered for Dorner’s “capture and  conviction.”

dorner-latestHowever, that’s “irrelevant” under the new criteria, officials said, because Dorner was chased into a cabin in Big Bear, where he eventually shot himself.

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.

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

“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.”

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

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.

“As of this morning, there is $1 million available in the reward fund, and we are pretty confident that it will stay at a million dollars,” Lt. Andy Neiman said.

He noted that there is no legal commitment regarding those who pledged money but decided to withdraw it.

The latest about-face further complicates matters for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie 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.

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The amount of reward money offered in the case of Christopher Dorner shrank again.

The Peace Officers Research Association of California has withdrawn its $50,000 pledge, saying the terms of the reward had not been met.

Their deal with the LAPD was made on the condition that Dorner be arrested and convicted for his crimes in February.

The  former LAPD officer who went on a rampage across Southern California wasn’t arrested.

Rather, he killed himself when he was cornered by police in Big Bear. That distinction has led some donors to back out of their pledges.

The announcement comes just days after the city of Riverside pulled its $100,000 contribution.

At least three people have submitted claims for the reward.

A decision on who will get the money is expected by mid-April.

 

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — There may not be a payout of the $1.2 million cash reward offered in the Christopher Dorner case, after all.

More than two dozen groups and organizations had pledged the reward money during the manhunt for the rogue former LAPD officer.

dorner-bgBut some of those parties are now hesitating to follow through, saying the rules for the money required that Dorner be captured and convicted.

Dorner committed suicide inside a burning cabin near Big Bear after a gun battle with authorities on Feb. 12.

The city of Riverside has said that its $100,000 reward is off the table.

The city council passed a resolution offering the reward for information leading to the “arrest and conviction” of Dorner, Riverside city spokesperson Cindie Perry said.

But “because the conditions were not met, there will not be a payment of a reward by the city,” Perry wrote in an email Monday night.

Much of the confusion about the conditions for the reward began with the language L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa used at a news conference announcing the reward.

Donors specified that the money they pledged was for Dorner’s arrest and conviction, but Villaragoisa broadened it to “capture” in his public remarks.

Later in the news conference, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck clarified: “For those of you with questions about how the reward works: The reward is for the capture and the conviction.”

So far, two claims have been made for the reward money.

One is by a Karen and Kim Reynolds, who argue that their call to police was the reason why Dorner was found.

Dorner tied them up and stole their car when they encountered him while going to check on their condo. He had apparently been holed up in the condo for days.

The competing claim is by Rick Heltebrake, whose pickup truck Dorner carjacked after he fled the Reynolds’ cabin.

He, too, claims that his call to authorities helped lead to Dorner’s demise.

The dozens of organizations that contributed to the reward have to agree before it can be dispensed, Los Angeles Police Department officials said.

Even if some groups back out, the reward will not drop below $1 million, one official told The Times.

But determining how much of it will be dispensed, and to whom, is still months away.

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