No Verdict Yet in Ex-Deputy's Murder Trial

Jurors weighing the fate of 44-year-old Dayle William Long are scheduled to return Thursday morning to continue deliberations, which got underway Tuesday afternoon.

Former Riverside County sheriff's Deputy Dayle William Long is pictured on the opening day of his trial at Southwest Justice Center, Nov. 12, 2013. (Photo by Maggie Avants)
Former Riverside County sheriff's Deputy Dayle William Long is pictured on the opening day of his trial at Southwest Justice Center, Nov. 12, 2013. (Photo by Maggie Avants)

Jurors completed their first full day of deliberations Wednesday without reaching a verdict in the trial of an off-duty Riverside County sheriff's deputy accused of gunning down an unarmed patron at a Murrieta bar.

Jurors weighing the fate of 44-year-old Dayle William Long are scheduled to return Thursday morning to continue deliberations, which got underway Tuesday afternoon

The trial began Nov. 12.

The ex-lawman, who maintains that he fired in self-defense, could face 50 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder and sentence- enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations in the Dec. 21, 2011, death of 36-year-old Samuel Vanettes of Winchester.

According to the prosecution, at least 11 people witnessed the defendant shoot Vanettes at point-blank range inside Spelly's Bar & Grill at 40675 Murrieta Hot Springs Road. The victim had gone there with his sister and several friends.

A trial brief prepared by the prosecution states that Long had joined a retired colleague for drinks at the pub several hours before the attack. During the evening, Vanettes invited the defendant to take part in a game of team darts. The off-duty lawman parted company with his friend and joined the group, continuing to drink beer and hard liquor, according to prosecutors.

Shortly before 8 p.m., Long and Vanettes became embroiled in a seemingly insignificant argument about whether a certain street was located in Orange County. Vanettes's friend, Danny Burnside, told investigators that the defendant became belligerent and challenged Vanettes to "go outside" and fight.

Long allegedly stood up, removed a compact .45-caliber handgun from his waistband and leveled it at Vanettes and his friends, then sat back down.

The defendant denied pulling his gun until the actual shooting.

Another of Vanettes's friends stepped in front of the defendant and shouted an expletive, posturing aggressively, a bar patron told detectives.

All witnesses acknowledged that Long began backing away from the table where Vanettes and the group were seated and that Vanettes approached Long in an attempt to defuse the situation.

The bartender told investigators there was some shoving, and while several witnesses described Long as appearing "upset," most witnesses said he was acting "calm" as he backed toward the bar exit, court papers state.

The prosecution alleges that Long pulled his .45 a second time, leveling it at Vanettes from at least five feet away and firing six times. Long testified that Vanettes attempted to take his pistol from him.

Vanettes was hit by four bullets -- in the chest, shoulder, abdomen and cheek. He died at the scene.

After initially refusing, Long submitted to a blood test four hours after the shooting and was right at .08 percent blood-alcohol content, prosecutors said.

The 10-year law enforcement veteran last worked as a bailiff at one of the three downtown Riverside courthouses. The sheriff's department fired him in March 2012.

Long is in custody in lieu of $1 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

—City News Service
Justice For All December 11, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Uh oh... hopefully we don't have a mentally challenged juror. Maybe the court food is really good, or no one wants to return to their jobs. Although it might be poignant to reach a verdict on Friday the 13th.
Rob Murillo December 12, 2013 at 10:39 AM
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out this is a first degree murder... and for those of you who say it has to be premeditated to be 1st degree obviously don't understand that it was premeditated by the cockroach... He sat at the bar and when things got heated he continued to stay, when he had every opportunity to leave ( here's where the premeditation begins) he just sat there, continued to drink while he "pondered" about how he was going to handle the situation. All this after he had already brandished his .45.. This looks like premeditated to me.. I just hope the jury are competent enough to know this..
Rob Murillo December 12, 2013 at 10:42 AM
I guarantee the cockroach would of left when things got heated had he not had his gun with him..
dick weed December 12, 2013 at 11:18 AM
wow u people are tards, he is just another or was another thug with a badge and gun and hopefully he gets what he deserves
Rob Murillo December 13, 2013 at 09:54 AM
You told me nothing.. only that it would be manslaughter which it wasn't... It was closer to my prediction than yours.. Accept it buddy..
Rob Murillo December 15, 2013 at 12:48 AM
Yes, If the jury would of agreed it was premeditated as I still do it would of been 1st degree.. It would of probably have been manslaughter had the cockroach told the truth to the court that indeed he was drunk... He Shot himself by lying and saying he was not drunk and he knew exactly what was doing.. Doesn't surprise me though.. Some that are "to protect and serve" us are not the brightest out there... But then again it doesn't take a whole lot of brains to be one...
Justice For All December 15, 2013 at 03:42 PM
The unfortunate truth is that we are hiring less intelligent and less qualified people as police officers nowadays because of the failure of 'Affirmative Action' and our 'No Child Left Behind' education system. As long as we continue to pass dumb people through our schools we'll have to continue to lower our hiring standards. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- IQ's in the U.S. have been plunging dramatically for years now and are especially low among minority populations. Poor education and low IQ's also translate into less common sense, which is a survival instinct that just can't be taught. The result is a slippery slope that forces us to constantly 'dumb down' testing requirements in order to meet hiring quotas. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- America is faced with a conundrum. Are we willing to live with the current state of affairs and essentially keep putting lube on the slippery slope, at the obvious expense and detriment to society? Or, perhaps we should raise our standards back up and pay the cost of hiring well educated, intelligent people with good common sense to protect our lives and property. From the objective standpoint of a financial risk manager, the answer is obviously the latter. Would you agree? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If Long had been hired under a stricter standard, then perhaps he would have possessed more common sense and this tragedy would never have happened. And, RivCo taxpayers wouldn't be on the hook for any potential wrongful death lawsuit that may inevitably come along.


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