CANYON LAKE: Prosecutors decline to charge Canyon Lake man in friend’s death

RIVERSIDE – A Canyon Lake man arrested for allegedly causing a fatality while joy-riding in a golf cart was released from custody today after prosecutors declined to file charges, instead referring the matter back to detectives for further investigation.

Scott Duane Sempson, 61, was arrested in the predawn hours Saturday on suspicion of hit-and-run resulting in death.

Sempson had been held in lieu of $75,000 bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta. However, the bail requirement was annulled and he was freed after the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office decided not to file a complaint.

Agency spokesman John Hall told City News Service that the case was returned to the sheriff’s department for additional evidence-gathering and review. It was unclear when detectives might complete that process.

According to sheriff’s officials, 49-year-old Roger Crocker of Canyon Lake died about 10:30 p.m. Friday while riding with Sempson on a golf cart in the area of Canyon Lake and Village Way drives.

A sheriff’s department statement said that Crocker was standing up in the cart while Sempson was driving northbound on Canyon Lake, but the victim tumbled out, striking his head on the roadway surface, causing major trauma.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics minutes later.

Sempson left the location before first responders arrived and was located and arrested three hours later on Skippers Way, according to sheriff’s officials.

He has no prior documented felony convictions.

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