First Murder in Just Over a Year Hits Davis on Friday

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Details are sparse at the moment, but Davis Police late on Friday reported that on Friday morning at 9 a.m., Davis Police officers responded to the Pacifico Cooperative Community located at 1752 Drew Circle in Davis after a deceased female in her 30’s was located inside her room.

Based on initial observations, the responding officers quickly considered the death and attendant circumstances to be suspicious in nature, warranting a homicide investigation.

Detectives and crime scene personnel were called out to the scene, along with the Yolo County Coroner’s Office. The investigation is still active. Davis resident Jonathan Paul Johnson, 52, who was known by the deceased, was taken into custody around 3:00 p.m. on homicide charges related to the death.

The victim’s name is being withheld until the coroner’s office can confirm identification, at which time it will be released. Further details will be released as they become available.

After a rash of murders between 2013 and 2015, the city of Davis had not had a homicide since the infamous KetMoRee stabbing in September 2015, when a man who was here for his sister’s wedding was stabbed to death during a fight at KetMoRee Thai Restaurant & Bar.  The killing stunned the community and led to the suspension of liquor licenses and changes in downtown night club rules.

The six co-defendants in that case are still awaiting trial on murder and gang charges.

In March 2015 when Joseph Hein took the life of 27-year-old friend and roommate Whitney Engler in a murder-suicide, it generated a tense standoff before police realized that the suspect had taken his own life.

The most infamous recent killing was probably the 2013 Daniel Marsh double homicide of a prominent elderly couple.  Mr. Marsh, just 15 at the time of those murders, was sentenced to life in prison following a lengthy trial.

In the latest case, police are still gathering evidence and those with information are urged to contact the Davis Police Department.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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5 thoughts on “First Murder in Just Over a Year Hits Davis on Friday”

  1. Howard P

    Interesting that you do not include, in your narrative, the murder by a mother of her own child… South Davis… guess women don’t count in the ‘murder count’… or do you not see the death as “murder”?

  2. Howard P

    Details are sparse at the moment,

    officers quickly considered the death and attendant circumstances to be suspicious in nature, warranting a homicide investigation.

     was taken into custody around 3:00 p.m. on homicide charges related to the death.

    Headline:

    First Murder in Just Over a Year Hits Davis on Friday

    A bit premature to call it a murder as opposed to “possible murder”?  Will be interested to see how the VG handles the trial if charges are actually filed… but I’m not as ‘informed’ as the author is… a premature enunciation?

    Tainting possible jury pool if charges are filed? Summary judgement?

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