Deputy Pleads Guilty to Leaving Gun in 8-Year-Old Son's Backpack, Sentenced to Community Service

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who left a gun in his 8-year-old son's backpack a year ago pleaded guilty Wednesday to an infraction and was immediately sentenced to 80 hours of community service.

Manuel Murillo, 37, was off-duty when he put the loaded service weapon in his son's backpack last April 11 by mistake, then dropped off the child with a caretaker, according to his attorney, Michael D. Schwartz.

The caretaker noticed the gun about 25 minutes later and contacted Fullerton police.

Murillo was charged last June with misdemeanor counts of child abuse and endangerment, storage of firearms accessed by children, and criminal storage of a firearm accessible to a child. Those charges were dropped as part of the plea deal, in which he admitted an infraction of leaving an unattended handgun in a vehicle.

Schwartz told City News Service when charges were announced last year that it was an "accident." The backpack and the deputy's gym bag are dark and he put his service revolver and badge in the backpack by mistake, Schwartz said.

"The kid had no idea it was there," Schwartz said.

When Murillo couldn't find his gun and badge, he quickly called his ex-wife and said he thought he mixed up the bags, Schwartz said.

Murillo, who lives in Ontario, has worked as a deputy for about a dozen years and "is a good employee with no problems in his background," his attorney said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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