Daniel Green was considered a standout officer for the Exeter Police Department. He was also a man with a troubled personal relationship that apparently took a tragic turn.
The 31-year-old officer was found slain in his home in Goshen last Friday. His ex-wife, the mother of his 2-year-old son, is in jail on suspicion of murder.
Ex-wife Erika Sandoval, 28, of Visalia, shot him several times, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department said. She is now being held in jail without bail and is expected to be arraigned on murder charges Tuesday.
According to court documents, Green and Sandoval had a contentious relationship.
Never miss a local story.
They married in 2010 and divorced two years later. After the divorce, they kept seeing each other off and on.
She became pregnant after their divorce, and lived with Green at the home in Goshen from the birth of the baby in January 2013 until midyear, when she moved in with her parents in Visalia.
They shared custody of the child under a court order.
After she moved out, Green and Sandoval got into disputes about child custody, at times exchanging numerous accusatory text messages, according to court papers.
At one point, Sandoval took pictures of a diaper rash that she said occurred while the baby was under Green’s care. Green said in a response that the picture had been “edited severely” to make the rash look redder than the original photo.
The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said it will hold a news conference Tuesday about the case.
On Monday, Exeter Police Chief Cliff Bush described an officer with an infectious laugh who was well-respected within the department, and loved his young son.
“That little boy was his world,” Bush said.
The Exeter Police Department is setting up a trust fund with Bank of the Sierra to help the boy. Donations can be made to Bank of the Sierra in Exeter, or to the Exeter Police Department.
Green is a 2004 graduate of Porterville High hired by Exeter police in July 2005.
He was a patrol officer who spent two years in investigations, was a motorcycle officer for a time, served on a multiagency anti-car-theft team, was a lead field training officer at the department and a member of a special enforcement team that served high-risk search warrants.
Green was the lead investigator of the 2011 murder of 3-year-old Sophia Acosta, Bush said.
“His level of intelligence” made him stand out, Bush said. “He was up to date on case law. He was a walking resource” for other officers.