Lack Of Evidence Led To Suspected Killer’s Release, The man suspected of a crime spree last week that left a Northern California sheriff’s deputy dead had been jailed in Oregon two weeks earlier but was released for lack of evidence and manpower in the local district attorney’s office.
Authorities believe Ricardo Antonio Chaney killed a man in Eugene, Ore., on Wednesday, carjacked a vehicle and drove to Mendocino County, Calif., where he fatally shot Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino before being killed in a shootout with a Fort Bragg, Calif., police officer.
Chaney, 32, had been arrested March 6 by Eugene police, who suspected he had a stolen cellphone and stopped his car for traffic violations. They found several guns in the vehicle, including a rifle that appeared to be illegally modified. They also found body armor and methamphetamine, so they arrested him.
Despite the suspicious circumstances and a criminal record that included misdemeanor convictions for third-degree escape and disorderly conduct, Chaney was released the same day.
“The March 6 charges against Chaney were not filed because they fell below the current triage standards and involved no violence or threat of violence,” Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner said in a statement.