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West Hollywood Deputy Charged With Murder

Francisco Gamez could face up to 75 years in prison if convicted.

A veteran Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was charged Thursday with murder and other counts stemming from the June 17 off-duty shooting death of a neighbor in Sylmar.

Francisco Gamez II, 41, was set to make his first appearance sometime Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court on a murder charge stemming from the death of Armando Casillas. He is also charged with one count each of attempted murder —involving a second victim who was not wounded — and discharging a weapon from an occupied vehicle.

Gamez allegedly confronted Casillas and another man after Casillas fought with the deputy's 20-year-old son, who called his father, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Gamez allegedly fired two shots.

Casillas was taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Prosecutors were asking that bail be set at $4 million for Gamez, who was arrested Wednesday.

The 17-year sheriff's veteran, who had been assigned to the West Hollywood station since 2005, was relieved of duty with pay July 3 pending the outcome of the investigation.

"The off-duty acts that led to the arrest of Francisco Gamez are deeply disturbing to me and to the entire Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department,'' Sheriff Lee Baca said after Gamez's arrest.

Gamez could face up to 75 years to life in state prison if convicted, according to the District Attorney's Office.

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Brian Hamilton November 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Anger can be deadly with a loaded gun nearby. This is a tragic loss, from every angle.

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