2nd trial prepared for convicted cop killer

FONTANA – Jury selection continued Tuesday in the second trial for a Rialto man convicted in November for the 2007 shooting death of a SWAT team officer.

Sergio Carrera Jr. was killed Oct. 18, 2007 during a raid at the Rialto apartment of Krist Antonio Wiggins. Carrera was fatally wounded when Wiggins and one of Carrera’s SWAT colleagues wrestled near a police rifle. Wiggins, 35, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter this past November.

Jurors in that case, however, could not reach a unanimous verdict on charges that Wiggins personally and intentionally fired a gun. Prosecutors are now retrying Wiggins on a gun enhancement charge only.

A search warrant alleged that drugs and gang members were at Wiggins’ residence. According to trial testimony by Rialto police officers, Wiggins ran toward a bedroom when a six-man SWAT team burst through the front door.

According to courtroom testimony, Corporal John Black caught up with Wiggins and was struck by the defendant. The pair fought on a bedroom floor where, according to testimony, Wiggins was shot with a Taser, punched and struck with a rifle.

Black’s rifle, identified in court as an AR-15, fired three times as the pair wrestled. Carrera, who was near the bedroom, was hit in the head by a bullet from Black’s rifle.
During the trial, it was heavily disputed who fired the gun and whether it was an inadvertent shooting.

Police reported that no weapons, drugs or gang members were found at Wiggins’ apartment on West Cascade Drive.

Lawyers started jury selection on Monday in San Bernardino Superior Court, presided over by Judge Steven Mapes. Potential jurors were called to his courtroom on both Monday and Tuesday.

Wiggins, who has not yet been sentenced for his involuntary manslaughter conviction, could get anywhere from two to four years in state prison, according to a San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office release. Prison time could be added with the gun enhancement conviction.

According to Rialto police, Wiggins is also wanted on 2007 charges that he sold rock cocaine in Grenada, Miss. A Mississippi judge had reduced his bail from $100,000 to $30,000 in that case, but Wiggins reportedly jumped the bond.

Carrera, 29, whose photograph is on display in the lobby at the Rialto Police Department with two other slain officers, was married and had two children.

2nd trial prepared for convicted cop killer was last modified: August 2nd, 2012 by admin
Categories: San Bernardino

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