Former California fire chief gets 16 years to life for murder in girlfriend’s …

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ex-California fire chief sentenced for stabbing girlfriend to death.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A former California fire battalion chief was sentenced Friday to 16 years to life in prison after he was convicted of the second-degree murder of his girlfriend. Lueras said. “This was the circumstance of her last breath on earth and it takes my breath away.” Fleming’s arrest triggered a months-long investigation into the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s training academy that led to firings and demotions. He was sentenced to 15 years for the murder with an extra year added for using a knife, Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Shelly Orio said. After Douglas’ body was discovered in the couple’s Sacramento home last May, the sheriff’s department launched a massive manhunt, believing him to be armed and dangerous.

He testified that he “felt like a zombie” as he stabbed her after they argued when she returned home from a night out at a casino with her mother and sister. Hikers and residents in the state’s picturesque Yosemite Valley and surrounding mountain ranges were warned to be on the lookout for anyone matching his description. It determined that employees were drinking on duty, sharing sexually explicit photographs, using a state vehicle to visit prostitutes, sexually harassing a civilian at a bar, and cheating while competing for promotions. In the end, just as detectives were set to expand their manhunt to Mexico and Canada, Fleming was spotted getting off a bus in Sacramento, officials said.

Following an ethics investigation into Fleming, which was launched after his estranged wife alleged firefighters were having sex with prostitutes at the state fire academy, two firefighters were dismissed and 13 others were punished. The accusations about prostitutes were found to be baseless, Cal Fire said, but the probe uncovered unrelated cases of employees violating departmental policies, ranging from dishonesty to misuse of state equipment and time.

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