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Thursday, 3 April 2008

George Reginald Graves arraigned negligently firing a weapon and a misdemeanor count of destruction of evidence

George Reginald Graves, 39, is scheduled to be arraigned at Southwest Justice Center within the next week on a felony count of negligently firing a weapon and a misdemeanor count of destruction of evidence. He could not be reached Wednesday for comment.A defense attorney who represented Graves after his arrest in June said Wednesday he has not spoken to Graves since the criminal charges were filed by the Riverside County district attorney's office.According to court documents, Graves and another man had been drinking at Corner Pocket bar on California Oaks Road the night of June 23, 2007.Murrieta police were sent to the bar to investigate a report of gunshots being heard.A security officer at the bar told police that he saw a car drive away, heard a gunshot and saw a muzzle flash from the car, documents state. Police ultimately identified Graves as one of the men in the car, according to the document, written in February by Murrieta police Detective Danny Martin requesting Graves' arrest.Officers went to a nearby apartment where Graves lived. While talking to him, Graves asked officers if anyone had been shot at the bar, the document states.When a search warrant was served at Graves' apartment, police found a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun registered to Graves in a bathroom sink about three-quarters filled with water and there was a strong odor of bleach, Martin wrote.The criminal complaint alleges that Graves tried to destroy or conceal evidence ---- gun powder residue.Three shell casings ---- one outside the bar and two more in the apartment complex across from the bar ---- were tested and found to have been fired from Graves' handgun, Martin wrote.
Another test revealed that Graves had a blood-alcohol level of 0.30 percent after his arrest, the document states.Martin wrote that he listened to jail phone calls made by both Graves and the man police say was with him that night. During some of those calls, the other man ---- who has not been charged in this case ---- made several statements about Graves being the one who fired the gun, Martin wrote.
Graves is no longer with the Sheriff's Department after 15 years of service.
In 1999, Graves received a Medal of Courage, one of the highest Sheriff's Department awards, for the actions he and another deputy took to save the lives of five adults and 11 children during an apartment fire in Lake Elsinore just before Christmas Day in 1998.Graves also received two other department awards: the Gold Star for his actions in a life-threatening situation in 2000 and the Lifesaving Award for performing CPR on a 3-year-old boy who nearly drowned in Canyon Lake in 1997.



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