Jury awards $1M to mother of man slain by deputy

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Updated: 8/27/2014 9:45 am

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A jury has awarded $1 million to the mother of a man shot and killed by a Riverside County sheriff's deputy in 2011.

Twenty-year-old Arturo Fernandez was shot once in the head during an early morning traffic stop in Lake Elsinore. Authorities said at the time that Fernandez was driving a stolen pickup.

According to sheriff's officials, Fernandez drove the pickup at a deputy and rammed his patrol car. The deputy, identified in court documents at Christopher Wicker, said he feared for his life and shot at Fernandez, who was unarmed.

Fernandez's mother, Maria Munoz, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit contending the deputy's use of force was unreasonable.

Munoz's lawyer argued there was no immediate threat to the deputy.

A spokesman tells the Riverside Press-Enterprise that the county may appeal.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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