Mom gets another chance at justice for son

PALM DESERT, Calif. - A Valley woman says Palm Desert police officers killed her son.  Now, she hopes to finally get justice.

"I lost my son, everyday for the last 3 years I think about him, I cry, I try to do everything I can to get through life," says Carole Krechman. 

Krechman says her son 48-year-old Robert Appel, was in the prime of his life when he was killed. 

"He was a lawyer who came here to write a screenplay," said Krechman.

But in May of 2010, that all changed.  "He was beaten to death by four Sheriffs," said Krechman. 

According to court documents, police, responding to a 911 call,  found Appel incoherent in his driveway.  They attempted to take him into custody, he resisted, and when officers held him down they say he stopped breathing. A Riverside County Coroner classified the death as a homicide, finding that Appel's heart was enlarged.

Krechman believes it was murder, "He was sitting on the driveway of his home, on his property at 10 or 10:30 in the evening."

Krechman believes the officers did not have a reason to arrest him. 

"Why would they handcuff him, why did they do anything, he was sitting on the ground not bothering anybody," said Krechman.

Krechman also doesn't believe her son was delusional, she says she talked to him less than two hours before. 

"He was just getting ready to mellow out, he had some personal problems the day before and I was a little worried about him, but he said he was fine, 'Don't worry about me mom, I'll call you in the morning," said Krechman.

That would be the last time she ever spoke to him.

"I couldn't believe that it happened and I didn't know what to do," said Krechman.

Krechman says the officers involved never got disciplined that's why she sued.  The civil case went to trial, but a judged dismissed the case after the jury couldn't reach a verdict.

"The judge took the law into his hands, just like the sheriff's did, and dismissed the case which he had no right to do," said Krechman.

A higher court agreed and ordered to a new trial. 

"I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't cut my hair, I wouldn't bury him until this was resolved, and so here I am three and a half years later," said Krechman. 

A date for the new trial has not been set.

The Palm Desert Police Department declined to comment on the on going case.

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