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Unlicensed bail agent to argue self-defense in deadly Palm Springs shooting, attorney says

The man who investigators said was posing as a bail agent when he shot and killed a Palm Springs man last month appeared in court Tuesday. He's facing a murder charge that could put him in prison for the rest of his life.

Fabian Herrera is charged in the deadly shooting of David Spann, 33, who police said was murdered on April 23 in his home on Via Escuela. They said he was working as a bail agent without a valid license, and tried to bring Spann into custody in the middle of the night.

Investigators said Spann was wanted by the bail agency for violating the terms of his bail, but was not wanted by law enforcement, with no warrant out for his arrest.

Herrera's attorney Rajan Maline said the case has a strong self-defense argument. "It seems like a strange charge to be charging Mr. Herrera with murder," Maline told a News Channel 3 crew outside the Larson Justice Center in Indio Tuesday. "He was protecting himself. He was doing a job for the community: being a bail agent. From all indications, it appears he was licensed, so it appears he was doing his job."

Police said Herrera was not permitted to obtain a bail agent license and was prohibited by law from possessing a firearm because of his prior felony convictions.

Lisa Vargas, Herrera's mother, was helping Herrera that night at the crime scene, police said, though investigators determined she is not a licensed bail agent either. She is now wanted by police in this case and has not yet been located.

Officers with the Palm Springs Police Dept. responded to the scene and tased Spann, who was reportedly armed with a knife.

Police have not yet said exactly what led up to the shooting. News Channel 3 pressed department spokesman Lt. William Hutchinson if Spann tried attacking anyone with the knife. "Mr. Spann's actions are all part of the investigation, are all going to be looked at by the Riverside County Sheriff's Dept.," he said.

Herrera is now set to return to court on May 25.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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