RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A former Southern California sheriff’s deputy charged with the murder of the father of his lover’s children has pleaded not guilty.

Ex-deputy Oscar Rodriguez was arrested last month in the shooting death of Luis Carlos Morin Jr. in 2014.

Riverside County prosecutors said they initially determined Rodriguez was justified in shooting Morin while attempting to arrest him on a warrant.

Prosecutors said they reopened the case after learning through a lawsuit filed by Morin’s family that Rodriguez was intimately involved with Diana Perez, the mother of Morin’s children.

Rodriguez pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder.

Perez pleaded not guilty to being an accessory to murder.

Outside the courthouse, Maggie Gamez-Morin, the victim’s cousin, called Rodriguez “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

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