10-month sheriff’s investigation results in justice for family
■ Chronicle News Staff
There is a saying that time heals all wounds. Some have turned it around to say that “time wounds all heels.” That certainly may be true in the case of two men from Hemet and one from San Jacinto who have been arrested after a lengthy investigation in connection with the murder of a Perris man last fall, Curtis McDaniel, 43.
McDaniel was sitting quietly in his home on Raven Hollow Drive the night of Sept. 16 when a bullet pierced his screen door and struck him in the neck. Police responded to shots being fired in the neighborhood and eventually made their way around to McDaniel’s house where they found him critically wounded. He would die five days later in the Riverside University Health System in Moreno Valley after his family was forced to take him off life support. McDaniel lived in the house with his girlfriend, children, and a grandchild.
McDaniel’s mother, Wanda Harris, was shocked and saddened by what seemed to be the senseless murder of her son. She told a reporter at the time that “he was minding his own business” adding that, “I’m hoping somebody, if they know something, will speak up.”
The case took 10 months to solve by members of the Riverside Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit and Perris Station investigators. The result was the arrest of three men, two from Hemet, and one from San Jacinto. Named by sheriff’s investigators as the ones they believe are responsible for McDaniel’s murder are: Jevante Terrell Stewart, 23, and Dameontae Wright-Patterson, 19, both of Hemet, and Lonzo Lee Ford III, 20, of San Jacinto.
The three have been involved in so many other alleged criminal operations that they’re all behind bars at this point. Hemet police arrested Ford last May for suspicion of murder with malice, attempted murder with malice, attempted murder, two counts of discharging a weapon resulting in great bodily injury, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, being a felon in possession of ammunition, resisting arrest, receiving stolen property, committing a felony while out on bail, and three counts of violation of probation. It’s not likely he will be released on bail since his bail is set at $4.3 million.
On July 21, Stewart was arrested in Las Vegas and is being held for investigation of murder with malice, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and parole violations. He is in jail on $1 million bail.
Five days later, on July 25, Wright-Patterson was arrested at Wasco State Prison in Kern County where he is serving time for an unrelated crime. His bail is set at $1 million.
If anyone has information about the McDaniel murder, they are asked to contact Investigator Anthony Johnson of the Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit at 760-393-3502. The incident file is PE172590111. Callers may remain anonymous. There is also a sheriff’s crime tips form online at https://www.riversidesheriff.org/tipline/.