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A federal appellate court March 24 rejected a Riverside Sheriff’s sergeant’s claim that he should not go to trial after fatally shooting a man in Lake Elsinore in 2016.

Sgt. Dan Ponder claimed in the California Central District, and again on appeal, that Clemente Najera-Aguirre posed a threat to him and others when Ponder shot him, making his actions protected under qualified immunity.

Ponder found Najera-Aguirre with a stick April 15, 2016, near West Heald Avenue in Lake Elsinore, after responding to reports that someone in Lake Elsinore was destroying property with a bat-like object, and had threatened a woman with a baby, according to the appellate decision. 

Ponder

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