Accused Pomona Police Killer Spent Less Than a Month in the Army

The man accused of murdering a Pomona Police Department officer after a car chase and shootout served less than one month in the US Army before being discharged for an unknown reason.

Isaias DeJesus Valencia, 39, joined the Army in Los Angeles on June, 18, 1998 and "separated" from the Army 22 days later, on July 6, 1998, according to records obtained by NBC4 under the Freedom of Information Act. Valencia was briefly assigned to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, the documents said, and the reason for the abrupt separation from military service was not made public. 

As a newly enlisted soldier Valencia would likely have gone through initial reception, "in-processing," and would have begun the most basic components of training during the first few weeks at the installation, according to an Army public affairs officer.

Relatives and family friends said after the incident that Valencia had served in the military and had suffered from depression and drug abuse.

Prosecutors filed a capital murder charge against Valencia following the car chase and gunfight March 9 that claimed the life of Pomona Police Officer Greggory Casillas. 

A second officer was wounded during the confrontation that occurred inside an apartment complex on South Palomares Street.

The LA County District Attorney's Office also filed seven counts of attempted murder, one count of fleeing from a police officer’s vehicle, and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. 

Valencia could face the death penalty or life in prison if he’s convicted.

The DA's office said Tuesday it had not yet decided whether or not to seek the death penalty.

Court and state prison records show Valencia has an extensive criminal history, including a 2014 prison sentence for possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, firing a gun in a school zone, and destruction of jail property.

He was released from prison and placed on probation supervision in April 2015, according to the California Department of Corrections.

Valencia is expected back in court May 1 to enter pleas to the charges.

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