May 6, 2005
Lemus died at age 52 of hepatitis C virus that he had contracted while on the job years earlier. Lemus discovered he was infected during routine blood work in early 2004. A review of his police record showed he had been exposed to the virus several times during his career, making the exact time he was infected uncertain.
Some of the exposures occurred during the drunken-driving sting operations Lemus loved working, because he thought he was keeping the streets safe for his son and daughter. A man later found out to be infected with hepatitis C bit Lemus during a domestic-violence call several years ago.
Deputy Lemus had served with the Orange County Sheriff's Office for 14 years.