By Julie McCaffrey
WOODLAND, CA – The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office said late Friday it is considering the death penalty for a man arraigned Friday in Yolo County Superior Court for the stabbing deaths of two men in Davis April 27 and 29, and injuring a woman May 1.
The man, 21, pleaded not guilty to two charges of murder and one charge of attempted murder.
He also denied all enhancements, including three charges of use of a deadly weapon, three charges of “willful, deliberate, and premeditated” murder or attempted murder, and a charge for inflicting great bodily injury.
Deputy Public Defender Dan Hutchinson was appointed to represent the accused, who Judge Daniel Wolk ruled would be held without bail, due to the nature of his alleged crimes and the significant risk he poses to the public.
According to a statement released by the District Attorney’s Office, “A Special Circumstance for Multiple Murders has been alleged which makes the case eligible for either Life without the Possibility of Parole, or the death penalty. The decision regarding whether to pursue the death penalty will be made at (a) later date.”
In court, reading from the complaint, Judge Wolk stated the accused is charged with two counts of “willful, deliberate, and premeditated murder,” in which he “killed a human being with malicious aforethought.”
This refers to the murders of Davis community member David Breaux and UC Davis student Karim Abou Najm, which occurred on April 26 and April 29, respectively.
The accused was also charged with one count of attempted murder, in which he “willfully, unlawfully and with malice aforethought attempt[ed] to murder K.G., a human being,” read Judge Wolk, referring to the May 1 stabbing of Kimberlee Guillory, who remains hospitalized but is improving, according to the New York Times.
There were further enhancements that included a charge for multiple murders, a charge for the crime involving great violence, great bodily harm, threats of great bodily harm, and other acts disclosing a high degree of cruelty, viciousness, or callousness.
Judge Wolk stated “the manner in which the crime was carried out indicated planning, sophistication or professionalism.” The accused’s arraignment concluded with his pretrial conference being set for May 22 at 9 a.m.
Coincidentally, the judge—a former mayor and city councilperson who lives in Davis—said in court he lives a short distance from one of the stabbings, and his wife was “walking the dog” about a quarter mile from the location of the second knife attack.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the defendant stood behind plexiglass wearing a protective vest, “eyes fixed to the ground behind a veil of stringy black hair.”
Bruce Hansen, a resident of Davis, sat through the arraignment. Hansen attended a vigil for the first victim, and when asked … about how he felt, said, “I feel generally relieved. I’m not as apprehensive walking around Davis. The whole community has that feeling.”