Court Watch Briefs: Coverage of Murder, Kidnapping and Hate Crime Cases

Suspect of hate crime pleads no contest

by Clara Zhao

On October 18, Lonny Doyle Lee, the suspect in a racially-based hate crime that took place at UC Davis back in February of 2016, plead no contest in Yolo County Superior Court.

The victim of the assault appeared in court to deliver a brief speech about what her life was like after the assault. She said that she now has trouble trusting people, suffers from anxiety and night terrors, and has panic attacks when she goes out late, all of which make it difficult for her to focus on her work and studies. She expressed great disappointment that the case had dragged on.

Accompanying the victim in court were Kayton Carter, the director of African American strategic retention for the UC Davis Center for African Diaspora Student Success, as well as Dr. Milton Lang, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life at UC Davis.

In his brief speech, Mr. Carter said that he was there to support the victim and that the assault had shaken not only the victim but the whole African Diaspora community in Davis. He emphasized that hate and bigotry had no place in UC Davis or anywhere else.

The judge sentenced Lee to three years of probation with a number of terms Lee must abide by. These terms include no contact with the victim, staying away from UC Davis, avoiding alcohol, writing an
apology letter to the victim, attending anger management meetings, doing community service, and enrolling in studies of black American history.

The next review of the terms of conditions of Lee’s probation will take place on February 13 of next year. The judge said that he expects Lee to have his apology letter for the victim ready by that date.

Due to the plea of no contest, the jury trial originally scheduled for next Monday was vacated.

Preliminary hearing involving a kidnapping case.

By Esmeralda Figueroa

On Tuesday afternoon, defendants Tyler Thomas Trezona, Tyson William Trezona, and Robert Derek Egle heard the testimony of Detective Louis Cameron from the West Sacramento Police Department.

In mid-September of 2017, a man was held against his will, struck, robbed, and later handcuffed to a tree located in a Sacramento park. The victim managed to remove the handcuffs and report the incident to the West Sacramento Police Department.

The three defendants are being charged with kidnapping, kidnapping for ransom, 1st degree robbery, criminal threats, and enhancement for the possession/use of a firearm.

On Tuesday afternoon, Detective Cameron testified that the victim identified Tyler and Tyson Trezona from a photo lineup that Cameron created. The victim also identified the home of Tyler and Tyson Trezona, located on Jefferson Boulevard. According to Cameron, the victim attended a house party on Jefferson Boulevard. Det. Cameron testified that the Trezonas cornered the victim at the house, took the victim’s property, and forced the victim to disclose the pin number to his ATM card. When the victim refused to comply with the defendants, the victim was struck in the eye and was held hostage. The victim also alleged to Det. Cameron that the defendants appeared to have three semi-automatic guns. At some point, the victim provided his pin number to the Trezonas. Shortly after, the two defendants forced the victim into Robert Egle’s vehicle and drove to a Golden One ATM to withdraw money from the victim’s account. The defendants also attempted to purchase two items from Walmart and to retrieve money from an ATM machine inside Marino’s Liquor Store.

According to Detective Cameron, surveillance videos from the liquor store show Tyler Trezona making two separate attempts to withdraw money using the ATM card. In another surveillance video, Egle entered a Walmart shopping center and attempted to purchase two gifts cards.

During the arrest of Tyler and Tyson Trezona, the residence of the defendants was searched, and Det. Cameron found two plastic BB pistols and an empty backpack which appeared to belong to the victim.

After the arrest of the Trezonas, Detective Cameron arrested Egle. Robert Egle was asked if he had recently been at a Walmart shopping center, and Egle responded, “I have not been in Walmart for month.” Detective Cameron then searched Egle’s vehicle, and inside the detective found a semi-automatic firearm and seven rounds of ammunition.

Judge Timothy L. Fall indicated the charges against the defendants will move forward. An arraignment date is scheduled for Tuesday October 31, 2017, at 9am in Department 11.

Preliminary Hearing Held in Connection to September’s Fatal Stabbing

By Taite Trautwein

Two stories were told during the preliminary hearing of Heder Leising Migoya. Though the details differed, they both shared the same tragic ending.

Migoya appeared in Department 11 of Yolo County Superior Court Wednesday afternoon to take part in a preliminary hearing as the chief suspect in a stabbing that took place on September 29 within a farming residence along County Road 95. He is facing an enhanced murder charge based on the use of a deadly weapon, in this case a knife.

The lion’s share of the testimony was delivered by Deputy Lech Garcia, an investigator with the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office. Dep. Garcia responded to the murder call on the morning it occurred, and conducted interviews with Migoya and a witness to clarify their involvement in the crime.

The witness in question, in addition to being the estranged wife of Migoya, was dating the victim at the time of the murder. She and Migoya had a child together prior to their separation, who was present the night the crime took place.

The beginning of Garcia’s testimony consisted of him retelling the stories the two interviewed witnesses told him the morning after the murder took place.

Garcia said the witness described Migoya as physically abusive over the course of her relationship with him, spurred on by jealousy. She claimed the defendant prevented her from having or seeing any male friends while they were together.

In the weeks leading up to the murder, Migoya took their son to Los Angeles to visit his grandmother and celebrate the birthday of a daughter he had through another relationship. The initial plan was for them to be gone one week, but Migoya postponed the return multiple times.

According to Garcia’s testimony, the witness tried to get him to return before the school year started, but Migoya told her he “did not want to be pressured into a specific date.” Garcia stated that the witness claimed to have no knowledge that the defendant would return on the 29th of September.

The night of the incident, according to the interview, the victim went to bed around 9:45 p.m., with the witness joining him at 11 p.m. She was awakened in the early hours of the morning to Migoya knocking on her bedroom door and entering without permission.

At this point, Garcia claimed, the witness instructed Migoya to leave the room, a request he did not follow. When the lights were turned on, apparently Migoya got a full view of the victim in his ex’s bed.

The lights were immediately turned back off, and Garcia claimed the witness “was telling him to get out” as she took her child from Migoya’s arms and out of the room. The witness claimed, while she was out of the room, that the defendant jumped up on the bed and attacked the victim.

Garcia informed the court that the witness told him she attempted to pull Migoya off the victim but was unsuccessful.

According to the witness, Migoya immediately fled, leaving the murder weapon, a small green knife, behind as he did so.

When asked by Deputy Public Defender Emily Fisher if there are consistencies between the interview conducted with Migoya and that with his estranged wife, Garcia responded, “There are some. There are some discrepancies also.”

According to the testimony of the detective, one of those discrepancies came in the actual definition of the relationship between the two. The estranged wife, the witness to the incident, claimed she and Migoya were separated, while Migoya claimed they were just on a “temporary break.” He also alleged he was paying her rent, a claim which Garcia supported.

Garcia claimed Migoya wanted her to “respect him and their relationship.”

As for the events that took place on Sept. 29, Migoya has never denied stabbing the victim. However, he did claim the victim charged him and snatched the knife out of his pocket.

According to Garcia’s understanding in Migoya’s interview, he claims the defendant alleged he was fighting to get his knife back and only attempted to stab the victim’s legs after managing to do so. Ms. Fisher highlighted that the lights would have been off at the time of the incident.

The day of the interview with the defendant, after Garcia informed Migoya that the victim had died, the detective confirmed that he placed his head on a table and cried.

In addition to the testimony of Garcia, two additional police officers took the stand.

Deputy Miles Torres responded to the scene of the crime and performed first aid on the victim. He confirmed he saw the knife allegedly used in the killing in the room when he entered, and identified a picture of it in the courtroom.

Sergeant Curtis Zeiler was a Crime Scene Investigator who responded on the night of the incident as well. He photographed the crime scene as well as sat in on the autopsy of the victim.

Sgt. Zeiler confirmed that the victim had twelve injuries in total, four of which were deemed severe. The fatal wound was a four-inch laceration just underneath “the victim’s left nipple.”

He also stated that, at the time of his arrest, the only injury Migoya had was a laceration to his left thumb, which Zeiler stated was considered minor.

The testimony of these three witnesses was enough for Judge Timothy Fall to determine this case worthy of trial. The arraignment hearing is currently scheduled for October 31 at 9 a.m. in Department 11.

Come see the Vanguard Event – “In Search of Gideon” – which highlights some of the key work performed by the Yolo County Public Defender’s Office…

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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  1. Jim Hoch

    “He is facing an enhanced murder charge based on the use of a deadly weapon, in this case a knife.”

    Don’t many murders involve the use of a deadly weapon? It would seem to not be unusual for someone to be killed with a deadly weapon.

    1. David Greenwald

      There are enhancements for the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of murder and a larger enhancement for the personal use of gun. I agree with your point I’ve always felt that having enhancements for murders was excessive. It is one thing to say that a gun is dangerous – for example – and therefore it potentially makes a lesser crime more dangerous, but if they’ve already committed murder, what difference does it make if it is by hand, knife or gun. But that’s not the current state of the law.

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