© 2024 91.9 KVCR

KVCR is a service of the San Bernardino Community College District.

San Bernardino Community College District does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, creed, religion, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

701 S Mt Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino CA 92410
Where you learn something new every day.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Slain Officer's Father Says He Joined PSPD To Hear Stories About His Daughter

INDIO (CNS) - The father of slain Palm Springs police Officer Lesley Kling Zerebny, who was killed along with another officer while responding to a domestic disturbance call, testified today he got a part-time job with the police department last year, in part so he could hear stories about his
   Testifying in the penalty trial of John Hernandez Felix, the man convicted of gunning down his daughter, David Kling told jurors he had a ``secret motive'' when he joined the Palm Springs Police Department last June.
   ``I wanted to hear stories about her,'' he said.
   Kling, a retired California Highway Patrol officer, joined the department as a part-time officer last June and was assigned to patrol duty at Palm Springs International Airport. He said the badge given to him by police Chief Bryan Reyes has the same number as his daughter's.
   Zerebny, 27, and 63-year-old Officer Jose Gilbert Vega were killed Oct. 8, 2016, when Felix fired an AR-15 rifle from inside his family's home in the 2700 block of Cypress Avenue, where police had gone in response to a domestic disturbance call.
   Jurors on Monday convicted the 28-year-old Felix of two counts of
first-degree murder, six counts of attempted murder, unlawful possession of an
assault weapon, unlawful weapon possession by a prohibited person and unlawful
possession of ammunition. They also found true special-circumstance allegations
of murder of a peace officer and multiple murders, opening Felix to a possible
death sentence.
   Jurors are being asked in the penalty phase of trial to recommend
either a death sentence or life in prison without parole for Felix.
   Kling testified Thursday that ``it touches me how supportive'' the
community has been following his daughter's death. He said despite the pride he
feels for his daughter and the ultimate sacrifice she made while on duty, ``I
would trade it all to have five more minutes with her.''
   Zerebny had been with the department for 18 months and had just
returned to duty following maternity leave, having given birth to a daughter,
Cora, four months earlier.
   Cora Zerebny watched from the courtroom gallery Wednesday as her
father, Zachary Zerebny -- a Riverside County sheriff's deputy -- testified
about his late wife.
   ``Lesley had that drive to be a cop for far longer (than I), with her
father in law enforcement and a law career, she held it very high and it's
something that she always wanted to do,'' Zachary Zerebny said.
   Asked by Deputy District Attorney Michelle Paradise if he was ever
scared about her going out in the field, Zerebny smiled and said, ``I would
take her as a backup in a tough situation over 99% of the males that I work
   Felix's defense attorney Jacob Devane argued Tuesday that jurors
should spare his client from the death penalty, saying the Palm Springs man has
intellectual disabilities.
   Deputy District Attorney Michelle Paradise countered that the killings
of two police officers warranted the death penalty.