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Rick Heltebrake On Chris Dorner Reward: Dorner Would Be Justified If Money Withheld (VIDEO)

Mar 25, 2013

The $1.2 million reward offered during the manhunt for fugitive Christopher Dorner could be in jeopardy, and no one is more upset about that than the people who stand to benefit from the payout.

A statewide police union called the Peace Officers Research Association of California is reportedly leading a campaign to reconsider the bounty, reports CBS2.

Rick Heltebrake, one of the last people to see Dorner alive, didn't mince words about the discouraging new development.

'If they don't pay that out, it kind of justifies some of the things Christopher Dorner was complaining about," said Heltebrake in a candid interview with CBS2 (video above).

Heltebrake could be alluding to Dorner's complaint that the Los Angeles Police Department is corrupt, but in fact Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese is leading a coalition among multiple law enforcement agencies to determine how to best divide the money.

One of the problems, noted the Associated Press last week, is that the terms of the reward were never explicitly detailed or written down. To make things more confusing, when LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced the reward in a press conference, he said it was for Dorner's "capture and conviction" -- a moot point since Dorner died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Feb. 12.

Since then, Beck has come forward to state he hopes the reward money is doled out, but he can't control the 31 organizations that pledged money for the fund.

Heltebrake was driving in Big Bear, Calif. when Dorner forced him to pull over and give up his car. Heltebrake wasn't harmed, and in fact was allowed to carry his dog to safety before Dorner took off. Dorner died later that day.

Heltebrake is one of two parties that have formally staked a claim to the reward money, reports the Los Angeles Times. The other party is a couple that Dorner tied up in a cabin. There is also a gas station worker who spotted him in Corona, Calif., as well as a San Diego sailor whom Dorner tied up, notes AP.

Authorities hope to have the reward money controversy squared away by mid-April. Dorner is believed to have killed four people before police caught up to him.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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