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Former Riverside deputy gets 40 years to life in prison for murder

A former Riverside County deputy convicted of shooting and killing a man at a bar while off-duty was sentenced on Thursday.
January 30, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A former Riverside County sheriff's deputy convicted of shooting and killing a man at a bar while off-duty was sentenced on Thursday.

Dayle Long was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison for murdering Sam Vanettes.

"It won't bring him back, but the jury and the judge were right on," said the victim's sister, Brandy Chamberlain.

On Dec. 21, 2011, an argument at Spelly's Pub and Grille in Murrieta ended with Long, whose blood alcohol level was over the legal limit, fired six times at Vanettes, killing him.

On the advice of his attorney, Long chose not to make a statement in court on Thursday.

"I think I heard enough from Mr. Long while he was on the stand. That was enough to tell me that he has absolutely no remorse for taking my brother's life," said the victim's sister, April Reilly.

Before the sentencing, the defense attorney was asking the judge to drop the conviction from second-degree murder to voluntary manslaughter.

"My heart was pounding out of my chest. I couldn't even imagine having to look at my mom's face if the charge was lessened to manslaughter after what he did," said Reilly.

The defense argued Long's actions were spontaneous and that he had identified himself as a deputy and the victim was the one making threatening moves. Long's aunt says he feared for his life and acted in self defense. But in the end, the judge decided not to change the jury's verdict.

"I think justice was served. We're going to miss him for the rest of our lives, but at least justice was definitely served today," said Reilly.

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