A convicted felon who pointed a handgun at Riverside police officers who were chasing him after he confronted a group of people with his pistol pleaded guilty Thursday to threatening a peace officer with a firearm and was immediately sentenced to 10 years in state prison.
Antoine Devin Cross, 29, admitted the felony count under a plea agreement with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. In exchange for his admission, prosecutors dropped charges of attempted murder and being a convicted felon in possession of a gun.
Superior Court Judge Emma Smith certified the terms of the plea deal and imposed the sentence stipulated by the prosecution and defense. Smith gave Cross credit for time served in jail — roughly three years — and doubled the credit under a provision in state law that allows for reductions to control prison overcrowding. The adjustments effectively reduced the defendant’s prison sentence to about four years.
Cross was arrested on Aug. 29, 2015, after targeting a group of people in the La Sierra quarter of Riverside.
According to Riverside police, the confrontation occurred in the predawn hours near the intersection of La Sierra and Norwood avenues, where patrol officers heard shots ring out.
Sgt. Troy Banks said the officers’ attention was immediately drawn to several men running along La Sierra, and the patrolmen gave chase.
One of the fleeing men, Cross, brandished a handgun as officers closed in on him, prompting them to open fire, according to Banks. The defendant — who was not wounded — surrendered on the spot.
Further investigation revealed that one person suffered minor injuries in the attack perpetrated by Cross and his cohorts.
One other individual was arrested, but he was ultimately released based on lack of evidence. The confrontation was believed to be gang-related, Banks said.
No officers were hurt.
According to court records, Cross had prior convictions for street gang activity and illegal possession of a gun. He had served time in state prison within five years of when the attack happened.