Chris Dorner reward: Judge denies bid to block payouts

BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif.

Rick Heltebrake, a camp ranger who escaped after being carjacked by Dorner, says his phone call to authorities on Feb. 12 helped lead them to Dorner, but he's not getting any of the money for it.

Friday, Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin declined to grant a temporary restraining order that would have stopped authorities from disbursing the money to four other people.

A panel of three retired judges granted about $800,000 to James and Karen Reynolds, who were bound and gagged by Dorner at a different mountain cabin before the final confrontation. Karen Reynolds got free and called 911.

Daniel McGowan, who found Dorner's burning truck in the Big Bear area where he eventually was discovered, will get $150,000. And $50,000 will go to tow truck driver R.L. McDaniel, who reported spotting Dorner at a gas station earlier in the manhunt.

The judges concluded Heltebrake's phone call did not provide information leading to Dorner, saying during the call he reported hearing gun fire, meaning law enforcement had already located Dorner and were engaged in a gun battle with him.

Heltebrake has also filed a $1 million lawsuit against Los Angeles, Riverside County and other reward contributors.

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