A former California Highway Patrol officer claims he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when he allegedly shot his neighbor during an off-duty dispute two years ago, according to court documents.
The documents were filed in support of Trever Dalton’s request for treatment in a mental health diversion program rather than criminal prosecution for the Dec. 5, 2017 shooting, the Ventura County Star reported Thursday.
Dalton, who resigned from the CHP last year, has pleaded not guilty to several charges including assault with a firearm.
The victim, Sorin Popescu, testified at a 2018 preliminary hearing that Dalton appeared to be drunk and threw an empty can of beer at him during a confrontation in their Ventura neighborhood. Dalton went home but a short time later Popescu was struck in the back by a single bullet. Another neighbor testified he saw Dalton with a gun before the shooting.
Ventura County Superior Court Judge Nancy Ayers has yet to rule on Dalton’s application, a request that Popescu opposes, the newspaper said.
Dalton claims years of witnessing horrific scenes in his duties as a peace officer coupled with substance abuse influenced his conduct the night of the shooting, records show.