Released Felon Suspected in Highland Attempted Murder

Sheriff's officials say the man had been released from prison due to AB 109, to reduce overcrowding. Now he's suspected of shooting a man in Highland.

A Highland man released from prison due to overcrowding is suspected in an attemped murder of another man, police reported.

33-year-old Cerafin Rocha was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on charges related to a weekend shooting and attempted murder in the area.

The San Bernardino County sheriff's department reports the incident happened around 11 a.m. Sunday.  Officials say "several witnesses" called to report a stabbing, and a man lying in the street, at Sterling Avenue, north of Base Line.

"When deputies arrived they found the victim was not stabbed, however he had been shot several times," detectives reported in an online press release.

Witnesses told authorities that they had spotted at least two male suspects running east from the location, into a flood control channel.

"A search was conducted for the suspects, but they were not located," detectives said.

The victim-- who has not been identified-- was hospitalized in critical condition.

Rocha was ultimately identified by witnesses as one of the suspects, according to the sherrif's department.  

"Rocha was located the next day at the home of his girlfriend in a trailer park not far from the shooting location," the department said.

The sheriff's department also said that Rocha had recently been released from prison, in accordance with Assembly Bill 109, "to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring the state to lower its prison population by 30,000."

"Rocha was on AB109 Release from prison," officials said, adding that the bill requires "offenders with non-violent, non-sexual and non-serious convictions will serve reduced sentences in county jails and be placed on local supervision through county Probation."

Rocha was being held at the Central Detention Center in San Bernardio in lieu of $1 million bail, according to inmate records.


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