Authorities have outlined an application process for the $1 million in reward money that was posted during the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer believed to have killed an Irvine couple and two police officials before committing suicide in a standoff at a Big Bear cabin in February.
The $1 million reward, which includes $100,000 pledged from the city of Irvine, was announced in the midst of an unprecedented dragnet for the fugitive across Southern California but has become the center of debate after the manhunt ended in Dorner’s death rather than his arrest.
Officials on Friday announced that the filing period for those seeking the reward money will last until April 19.
A panel of three retired U.S. District Court judges ultimately will recommend how the reward money should be distributed, if it is distributed at all.
The judges’ recommendations will be announced publicly, officials said.
Irvine officials said they were in support of the newly announced reward process.
“The three-judge panel is a welcome idea. It is the right procedure that the judgment be made by a third, independent body, particularly by people who are conversant with the complicated nature of this topic,” Irvine Mayor Steven Choi said in a written release.
At least one person – a man who was believed to be carjacked at gunpoint by Dorner shortly before Dorner’s final standoff with authorities – has submitted a claim to the city of Irvine for its portion of the reward money. Others have publicly indicated that they are seeking the reward.
The Irvine City Council on March 12 voted to contribute the $100,000 to the reward fund – more than a month after the city’s mayor appeared a news conference with Los Angeles and Riverside officials to announce the reward.
Some have wondered whether anyone will get the reward, since the manhunt ended in Dorner’s death rather than his arrest and conviction. In the statement released Friday, authorities indicated that the process will determine “who should received the reward for information that led to the identification and apprehension” of Dorner.
Irvine police Chief David Maggard said the creation of the formal reward process and the judging committee was a “necessary and appropriate step.”
“The attempt at trying to bring everyone together is an important effort that needs to be done carefully and thoughtfully,” Maggard said.
Information on the reward process and claim forms are available on the LAPD website at lapdonline.org.
Staff writer Kimberly Pierceall contributed to this report.
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