CA felon who allegedly killed deputy should have been in jail for life at the time of the crime: Sheriff

William Shae McKay should never have had the opportunity to fatally shoot Deputy Isaiah Cordero in Riverside County, California, on Thursday.

He is a serial violent felon, and, under California’s “three strikes” law, he should have been rotting in jail for 25 to life, not driving his pickup truck around Jurupa Valley, some 40 miles south of Los Angeles.

“This terrible tragedy should’ve been prevented by the legal system,” Sheriff Chad Bianco said, according to the Washington Examiner. “McKay has an extensive, violent past and was convicted of his third strike in November 2021. That case involved kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon. Instead of sentencing him to 25 years to life, which should’ve happened, the judge lowered his bail, allowing him to be released.”

Cordero, 44, a motorcycle deputy, pulled McKay over on Thursday afternoon.

At a quarter to 2 p.m., the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department was alerted by “community members” that a deputy was injured, the department stated. When they arrived, they discovered Cordero and transported him to the hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

Law enforcement agencies in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties launched a manhunt for McKay, who was located in San Bernardino County.

McKay reportedly attempted to flee, heading back into Riverside County where his truck’s tires were blown out with a tire deflation device, according to the press release.

The cop killer opened fire on the deputies, who returned the favor.

“McKay was involved in a single-vehicle traffic collision and was pronounced deceased at the scene,” according to the authorities.

KTLA caught the high-speed chase on film, giving viewers a look at McKay’s disabled vehicle, replete with several bullet holes through the windshield.

(Video: YouTube)

The Los Angeles Times detailed McKay’s violent past:

His first strike came in 1999, when he pleaded guilty to assault with a firearm and spent three years in prison. The second came in 2005, when he and a co-defendant attacked a sleeping couple in their apartment, assaulting them and stealing $3,700 from a safe.

The third strike came when he was convicted on Nov. 8, 2021, of false imprisonment, evading a peace officer, criminal threats likely to result in death or great bodily injury, and receiving stolen property. Evidence included zip ties, duct tape, an ax and gang paraphernalia.

 

“McKay was acquitted on additional charges of kidnapping and kidnapping to commit robbery or rape,” the Washington Examiner reports. “A court document shows that Judge Cara Hutson dismissed counts of a felon in possession of a gun and a penal code section alleging that he has prior felony convictions, which is required for three strikes.”

“She then delayed sentencing twice and reduced his bail from $950,000 to $500,000,” the outlet stated.

According to Sheriff Bianco, “We would not be here today if the judge had done her job.”

“He gave his all to his job,” Deputy Cordero’s ex-girlfriend, Karla Morales, told the Times.”He loved his co-workers. That’s what kept him going even on his toughest days.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is all in favor of releasing inmates early to lower the prison population, expressed his “respect” for the fallen deputy.

“Jennifer and I extend our deepest sympathies to Deputy Isaiah Cordero’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time,” he said in a statement. “He served his community selflessly, and with dedication and courage. We owe him our respect, gratitude, and will remember his sacrifice.”

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