BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The first offer topped the average annual salary in Bakersfield.
“Pssst. Throw this (expletive) in reverse, drive me to Orange Street. I got $60K waiting for you, cash,” Eric Nichols allegedly told a deputy following his arrest last year on suspicion of driving under the influence.
The deputy declined. Nichols didn’t give up, offering a California Highway Patrol officer significantly more, according to court documents.
“You wanna get rich?” Nichols allegedly asked the officer. “One million dollars and you let me go.”
The officer said he would never jeopardize his job.
“(Expletive) it, then, stay broke,” Nichols responded according to the documents. “I’m just saying, I got the money, and you got the power to let me go.”
There were no takers, not even when he claimed he could get $2.1 million, the reports say.
Instead, Nichols was taken to jail, where he was charged not only with a drunken driving offense but two counts of bribery of an executive officer.
Nichols, 50, is already facing life in prison following his conviction on two counts of murder in shootings that took place two months after the DUI arrest.
He was found guilty over the summer in the Aug. 4, 2020, shooting deaths of Paul Ray Shawn Dean, 47, and Jerome Patrick Davis, 37, at the intersection of 10th and M streets. Both men were shot at close range about a minute apart and died almost immediately, prosecutors said.
A gun with Nichols’ DNA on it linked him to the killings, prosecutors said. He was arrested two days later, hiding in a motel in Wasco.
Also, Nichols was convicted of carjacking and robbery for other offenses that occurred Aug. 2 and Aug. 4, 2020.
Sentencing in those cases was postponed earlier this week after Nichols’ attorney asked to be relieved. Another attorney will appear for a hearing Tuesday.
The drunken driving arrest occurred shortly after 7 p.m. on June 9, 2020, when law enforcement were dispatched to a car sitting in the middle of the road in the area of South Granite and Round Mountain roads.
When approached, Nichols got out of the driver’s seat, according to court filings. Then he noticed the approaching car was a patrol vehicle and immediately got back in his Nissan and turned it off, an investigator wrote.
“I approached Nichols and immediately saw he had slurred speech, red, watery eyes, he was swaying left to right, was unsteady on his feet, and was unable to hold a conversation,” the investigator wrote in the filings.
Placed under arrest, Nichols was put in the back of a patrol vehicle with a window rolled down. That’s when he made his first bribery attempt, the documents say.
He was repeatedly rebuffed, with one officer telling him he wouldn’t accept even $100 million to release him.
“$100 million?” Nichols replied according to the documents. “That would take me forever to get. Be reasonable, two-point one million is my final offer.”