A parolee accused of fatally shooting a 43-year-old Hemet man during a confrontation possibly stemming from conflict over a mutual love interest was charged Friday with murder and other offenses.
Samuel James Wright, 42, of Hemet was arrested Tuesday following a weeklong investigation into the death of the victim, identified in court documents only as “F.R.”
Along with the murder count, Wright is charged with witness intimidation, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, as well as sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.
Wright was being held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center and slated to make his initial court appearance Monday at the Banning Justice Center.
According to Hemet police Lt. Nathan Miller, the attack happened on the evening of Dec. 28 in the 300 block of North Hamilton Street, near Devonshire Avenue.
Miller said that Wright was involved in a verbal altercation with F.R. about 6:30 p.m., culminating in the defendant allegedly pulling a handgun and shooting the man in the chest.
Patrol officers reached the scene within a few minutes and found the victim gravely wounded. He was taken to Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley, where he was pronounced dead, according to Miller.
He said initial efforts to locate the perpetrator were unsuccessful, but detectives ultimately discovered that Wright and the victim knew one another, and the trail of clues pointed to the convicted felon as the alleged shooter.
Miller said the deadly attack may have stemmed from an interest in the unidentified woman shared by both the defendant and the victim.
According to court records, Miller has two prior convictions in another jurisdiction for assault with a firearm.
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