Judge Rules Dominguez Going to Trial after Preliminary Hearing of Accused Davis Stabber, Alleged Killer of 2 People  

By Audrey Sawyer

EDITOR’S NOTE: Coverage of the first Dominguez preliminary hearing by The Vanguard where it was announced prosecutors will not seek the death penalty is seen here

WOODLAND, CA — The second day of a preliminary hearing for Davis stabbing suspect Carlos Dominguez reconvened Tuesday here in Yolo County Superior Court with various officers testifying about “contradictory statements” or “unusual” behavior from Dominguez.

Judge Samuel McAdam found there to be probable cause to Dominguez being linked to both of the two homicides and one attempted homicide. A trial was ordered. An arraignment on the information will be March 13.

Davis police Officer Keirith Briesenick testified and described a reporting party as a man who stated he had been walking on a bike path through the park before seeing a “suspicious person” in the playground area.

Officer Briesenick told the court the reporting party believed that he had observed a subject in the reported area that was suspicious, and the description of attire and visual appearance seemingly matched to the description put out by Davis PD.

The reporting party, said the officer, was on his cellphone before the officer was able to make eye contact with Dominguez in the playground area, and he wanted to “keep an eye on him” before notifying law enforcement.

Deputy Public Defender Dan Hutchinson inquired more about the reporting party and how he saw Dominguez in the park, asking, “Did he describe the individual as staring off into space or towards the ground?” Officer Briesenick agreed with the question.

The officer explained the reporting party had dialed for the police, but then asked for his wife to do so instead, so that the reporting party could continue to follow Dominguez. The reporting party had followed Dominguez to a marketplace until losing sight of him temporarily, only to later see Dominguez carrying a shopping bag. The reporting party trailed Dominguez until obtaining contact with law enforcement.

Another officer who testified, Leo Gonzales, described arriving at the scene for an area check regarding a subject matching a description for a homicide. The officer said he asked Dominguez to stop and talk with him, but Dominguez did not respond to him. While the officer admitted being unable to catch the attention of Dominguez, he told the court another officer was able to make contact.

Officer Gonzales said Dominguez called himself by a different name and gave a particular birthdate. When the information provided by Dominguez was run through dispatch, no results  emerged, added the officer.

Officer Gonzales said the accused “had cuts and injuries on his hand. Some of them appeared to be healing.” Officer Gonzales added he told Dominguez to put down his grocery bag, which was exposed at the top to show a black fixed blade with a black handle.

Officer Stephen Ramos testified about the seven-hour interview with him, Dominguez, and Detective Muscardini last May.

Officer Ramos admitted Dominguez would give contradictory answers, and “denied stabbing all three of them.” But when asking moments later about how many times he stabbed UC Davis student Karim Abou Najm, Dominguez answered that it had been “a lot.”

Officer Ramos told DPD Hutchinson he had last seen the video of the interview back in May 2023, and that he had not reviewed the interview since. In addition, Officer Ramos did not look through the interrogation report.

DPD Hutchinson asked Ramos, “You and Sgt. Muscardini did most of the talking, Dominguez generally responded with not knowing, yeah, or I’m not sure, correct?” Officer Ramos replied the statement of Dominguez not doing as much was “fair.”

One example of the contradiction explained by DPD Hutchinson was about Dominguez’s responses to questions about David Breaux. When Officer Ramos asked Dominguez how many times he had stabbed Breaux, Ramos said Dominguez answered he “was not sure.”

Officer Ramos then told Dominguez to make a guess. Dominguez answered that he “would not say that he stabbed him.” However, moments after Officer Ramos had asked again, Dominguez answered that it was “more like 40” times.

DPD Hutchinson said, “Prior to mentioning 40 times, Dominguez denied stabbing Breaux. He then gave information indicating otherwise. A few minutes later, you asked him how many people in total that he stabbed. He responded that he had stabbed zero.”

DPD Hutchinson then suggested Officer Ramos seemed to remind Dominguez that he had just admitted to stabbing 40 times.

Essentially, DPD Hutchinson emphasized that over the seven hours of Dominguez’s interview, Dominguez would be asked the same sort of questions time and time again, but his answers did not remain consistent—sometimes the accused answered yes and sometimes answered no or that he was not sure.

During the seven-hour interview, Dominguez did not drink any water, eat food (despite offers), or request to use the restroom, said Ramos, adding the accused did look away from the officers: “Over twenty times, I had to tell him to look at me, and he would. But then he would start staring off into the distance or looking away.”

Even when Dominguez was told by the officers that he could be getting the death penalty, Officer Ramos described the accused’s expression as “flat.”

Officer Ramos explained Dominguez had at one point of the interview stood up and announced he was “going to take a walk” even though he was being questioned about two homicides and an attempted homicide. While Ramos said he has received mental health training, he did not receive specific training in schizophrenia.

Deputy District Attorney Matthew De Moura closed by establishing that Dominguez is at fault for each homicide (and attempted homicide), stating, “On April 27, 2023, when David Breaux was murdered, a sheath was recovered. Detective Torres had testified similar to what the knife would fit into, and we have seen evidence that Dominguez was at the park that day.”

Regarding April 29: “For Karim Abou Najm—description given of the individual he came upon who was attacking matched Dominguez. The water bottle which was recovered from the bike had the blood of Karim, in addition to having Dominguez’s fingerprints.”

Regarding Kimberlee Guillory: “Her DNA is on the knife that was recovered from Dominguez on May 3.”

DDA De Moura said Dominguez was being charged with premeditated murder of Breaux, and “Evidence shows his cause of death was multiple forced injuries. He is currently deceased, the death is going to be something in contention for purpose of the preliminary. 

“He was located in an isolated area of the park (off beaten path) which would require one to approach and walk by him. We know Dominguez was armed with a knife because the sheath was on the ground, he would have had to pull his knife from the sheath. Stabbing is a close and personal attack.”

Addressing Karim Abou Najm, the prosecutor said, “He [Dominguez] is already linked to one stabbing. He fled from the scene still with the knife he used to kill Breaux. He continued to keep stabbing, so it formed premeditation. He only stopped when he was interrupted by a doctor who heard cries for help and left his home. The attack would have continued if not for that interruption. Dominguez’s statements to leave him alone or asking what he was doing showed that he was committed to finishing the task.”

On Kimberlee Guillory, the DDA said,  “This was attempted murder. He stabbed her in vital areas and she was in critical but stable condition, so she had to be monitored. The premeditation here comes from the Ramos’ testimony, the individual was riding his bike near where her tent was. The tent is important because it required Dominguez to get off his bike, approach the tent, see someone is in the tent, see where they are, and then stab the individual. He understood what he was doing. Two people were already killed at his hand.”

DeMora stated Dominguez had shown willingness and “nothing showing that it is involuntary / not of his own thoughts.”

Judge McAdam issued a holding order for all three counts and enhancements, telling the court,  “There is probable cause to believe that he committed these crimes with intent to kill. As to the critical element of premeditation, the court had reviewed for first degree murder. The defendant is linked to three stabbings with a knife, all within a few days last spring.

“Each victim saw multiple stab wounds, each was within the town of Davis, and all locations were walkable or within bike distance. DNA evidence links him to each crime or crime scene, and evidence shows that he fled at least two.”

About The Author

Audrey is a senior at UC San Diego majoring in Political Science (Comparative Politics emphasis). After graduation, Audrey plans on attending graduate school and is considering becoming a public defender.

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