State : Prosecutor Shoots Self to Death

From Times staff and wire service reports

Dist. Atty. Ronald Tepper of El Dorado County was found shot to death in his downtown office today and Placerville Police Chief Bob Harmon said the prosecutor committed suicide.

Tepper, 54, was found with a head wound by a district attorney’s investigator. There was no note explaining the shooting, Harmon said.

Tepper, who was married, had been involved lately in the prosecution of El Dorado County Supervisor Michael Visman, who was to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Sacramento later today on marijuana cultivation charges. Tepper asked to have the trial shifted from the county to U.S. District Court after a challenge to his prosecution of the case. Visman’s attorney charged that Tepper had a longstanding grudge against his client. He said Tepper insisted on going through with a court hearing to review evidence in the case to further damage Visman.