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Felon who shot Banning man to death in domestic dispute sentenced

Jason Anthony Rhine
Banning Police Dept
Jason Anthony Rhine

A felon who fatally shot a 28-year-old Banning man standing in his kitchen because the defendant was angry over how his sister was treated by the victim was sentenced today to 80 years to life in state prison.

Following a two-week trial, Jason Anthony Rhine, 44, of Riverside, was convicted last month of first-degree murder, burglary, being a felon in possession of a firearm and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.   

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Rene Navarro sentenced Rhine Monday at the Banning Justice Center.

According to the District Attorney's Office, Rhine gunned down Daniel Figueroa on the morning of Jan. 12, 2021, in the house the victim shared with several other people at 1277 N. San Gorgonio Ave.

The night before the attack, Rhine's younger sister, whose identity was not disclosed in court documents, was involved in a quarrel with Figueroa at her residence, where the victim had gone to visit, in the hope of convincing her not to break off their relationship, as she intended, prosecutors said.  

An argument ensued, and Figueroa became physical, grabbing the woman at one point before snatching her mobile phone and purse, containing $450, then running away, Deputy District Attorney Sean Oswill said in a trial brief.

The woman didn't try to pursue Figueroa but instead contacted her brother, Rhine, who became incensed, and at about 8:30 the next morning, drove to the victim's house in his Kia, parked out front and went to the front door armed with a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun, Oswill said.   

"The defendant made his way inside the house and confronted (Figueroa) in the kitchen," the prosecutor said. "Rhine shot the victim twice -- one fatal round entered the victim's right shoulder and penetrated his heart."  

Figueroa died on the spot.   

Rhine fled in his car, while Figueroa's three housemates also tried to flee, not wanting to be questioned by police officers, who swarmed the location after receiving reports of shots fired, according to the brief.  

However, all three witnesses were stopped by police and detained for questioning, culminating in the defendant being identified as the shooter.   

Relying on their statements and security surveillance videotape from locations near the residence that showed Rhine coming and going in his Kia, Banning police obtained a warrant for the defendant's arrest, according to the prosecution.  

He was located on Amhurst Drive in Riverside on Jan. 20, 2021, and taken into custody without incident.  

According to court records, Rhine has prior convictions for assault with a deadly weapon resulting in great bodily injury and gang activity.

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Article Topic Follows: Crime

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