Indio, California

From Los Angeles’ CBS2.com of October 31, 2007

Man Acquitted In 2 Shooting Deaths

Daniel Kenric Karlsons Allegedly Shot His Girlfriend, Her Brother In Self-Defense

A man charged with murdering his then-18-year-old girlfriend and her brother more than three years ago was acquitted by a jury in the shooting deaths, his attorney said Wednesday.

Daniel Kenric Karlsons, 30, was found not guilty of two counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in a verdict returned late Tuesday at the Larson Justice Center, according to defense attorney Arnold Lieman.

Jurors believed Lieman’s argument that the killings were in self-defense.

Elizabeth Morales and her 25-year-old brother Roberto Morales Jr. were fatally shot in February 2004 while sitting in an Acura on Long Canyon Road east of Desert Hot Springs.

“My argument throughout the trial was self-defense,” Lieman said. “Roberto Morales took a shot at my client before he got shot.”

Karlsons and the siblings were in the Acura with a fourth person when he and Roberto Morales got into a dispute over Karlsons’ treatment of his sister.

“Roberto was intoxicated, and I think the liquor took over causing him to act irrationally,” Lieman said.

Bullet casings found in the front of the Acura and gunshot residue found on Roberto Morales’ hands may have swayed the jury in favor of acquittal, Lieman said.

Karlsons was arrested outside a Calimesa motel based on a tip received by sheriff’s detectives that Karlsons was in a room there.

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