Baumgartner Sentenced for Crestline Murder - Mountain News : Crime Log

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Baumgartner Sentenced for Crestline Murder

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Steven Michael Baumgartner

Posted: Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:40 am

Former Riverside County sheriff’s deputy Steven Michael Baumgartner, 56, was sentenced to 40 years to life for the 2014 shooting of his Crestline neighbor, according to an announcement on July 7 from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office.

The case stemmed from ongoing tensions between Baumgartner and his next-door neighbor, Michael Paul Clark, then 38 years old. Baumgartner placed a 9-1-1 call to report a domestic disturbance at Clark’s home the evening of June 27, 2014.

The following Monday, Clark confronted Baumgartner between their houses. During the brief argument that ensued, Baumgartner reportedly pulled out a handgun and fired it at Clark’s face. Clark was pronounced dead at St. Bernardine Medical Center in San Bernardino, a sheriff’s press release stated at the time.

After two years of hearings and postponements, the trial began in Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino, on Aug. 24, 2016, with Judge Harold T. Wilson Jr. presiding. Deputy District Attorney Nelson Chor-Ming Ng and the Central Division support staff prosecuted the case. The jury reached its verdict on Sept. 27, 2016.

Court documents show that the jury found Baumgartner guilty of felony murder as well as a lesser included offense of second degree murder. The jurors determined that Baumgartner used a firearm, discharged the firearm, and caused great bodily injury and death to the victim.

Baumgartner has been transferred from the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga to the Chino-California Institution for Men, where he will serve his indeterminate term of 40 years to life.

A restitution hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 8 in Department S15 of the San Bernardino Justice Center.

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