DA: Defendants Tortured, Sexually Assaulted and Killed John Derek Chamberlain

Jared_Petrovich_OCW3.jpg
Jared Petrovich: OC jail deputies wanted inmates to beat Chamberlain
In a 59-minute opening statement today, Orange County homicide prosecutor Ebrahim Baytieh promised jurors he won't "sugarcoat anything" about the gruesome 2006 jailhouse murder of John Derek Chamberlain by "waves" of inmates who erroneously suspected that he was a child molester.

"They tortured him and they sexually assaulted him and they beat him to death," said Baytieh, referring to the five extremely pale, in-custody defendants sitting at the defense table. "At the end of this trial, we are going to look you in the eye and tell you they did this and you will find them guilty of first degree murder."

Chamberlain, a 41-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita software engineer, couldn't post bail and was awaiting trial on a misdemeanor child pornography possession charge when he was taken by inmates to an area inside the Theo Lacy Jail's F-West barracks that could not be seen from a guard station and stripped to his underwear.

"The evidence is going to prove that they [the defendants] decided to act as a judge, a jury and as an excutioner," said a pacing Baytieh. "They punched him. The kicked him. They stomped him. They sexually assaulted him and they tortured him."

According to Baytieh, the autopsy found that Chamberlain suffered 43 fractures of his 24 rib bones.

The defendants are: Jared Louis Petrovich of Tustin, Stephen Paul Carlstrom of Anaheim, Garret Eugene Aguilar of Anaheim, Raul Villafana of Santa Ana and Miguel Angel Guillen of Santa Ana. Eric Charles Miller of Huntington Beach will be put on trial in November and Baytieh has already secured guilty pleas from Michael Stewart Garten, Christopher Teague and Jeremy Dezso Culmann. (Garten got 20 years in prison while Teague and Culmann nabbed 15 years each.)

Edward Munoz, Guillen's defense lawyer, said in his opening statement that jurors will learn about the "unhealthy" culture inside the Orange County Jail. His key point? Because of the jail culture, Guillen had to participate in the beating "to save his own skin" or face a beating himself by powerful inmates given authority by unethical deputies to brutalize weaker in-custody defendants.

"This structure is condoned by the deputies," said Munoz.

Fred Thiagarajah, Carlstrom's Newport Beach-based attorney, said that the crime originated with the acts of Deputy Kevin Taylor, who inmates claim spread the false word that Chamberlain was a child molester and worthy of a beating. During the beating, Taylor watched television and sent text messages to girlfriends. After the beating, his team of deputies doctored an official log with false information and erased the department's video of the killing. No deputies were charged with any wrongdoing.

Thiagarajah said that Carlstrom wasn't involved in the murder because he had no intent to kill and did limited damage to Chamberlain.

"One kick," he said. "One kick is not murder. The evidence is going to show that Stephen Paul Carlstrom kicked John Chamberlain, but it will not show that Mr. Carlstrom murdered this suspected child molester."

(Dozens of inmates brutally assaulted Chamberlain for as long as 45 minutes, according to court files.)

Keith M. Davidson, the lawyer for Petrovich, said the evidence will show that Deputy Taylor wasn't just "lazy" but "as much a participant in this crime as these five defendants . . . He gave the orders [to pummel Chamberlain]."

Baytieh predicted he will conclude his portion of the case by the end of the month.

He said, "This is going to be a long trial."

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

Please read Nick Schou's previous coverage of the Chamberlain case:

• "The John Chamberlain Killing: Another Defendant's Account"

• "The John Chamberlain Jailhouse Murder: One of the Accused Speaks"

• "Judge in Jailhouse Murder Case Failed to Disclose Conflict"

• "I Lit the Fire"

• "Sack Attack"

• "Smashes, Thrashes & Hits"

• "Theo Lacy Unmasked"

• "Blind Spot"

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9 comments
armyan1988
armyan1988

Good for them, I hope the charges are dropped. These men did the right thing as scum such as John have no place on this earth. My best wishes and great thanks to the men responsible, we need to clear our world of pieces of shit like that.

SelinaaWozz
SelinaaWozz

Another restaurant cliaimed to use fresh mozz arellacheese,where it's dishes were actually made with economy cheddar.the"fresh pasta"advertieshed on another meau tumed out to befrozen.--Agedate. c0m --a nice and free placefor younger women and older men,or older women and younger men,to interact witheach other.

SelinaaWozz
SelinaaWozz

Another restaurant cliaimed to use fresh mozz arellacheese,where it's dishes were actually made with economy cheddar.the"fresh pasta"advertieshed on another meau tumed out to befrozen.--Agedate. c0m --a nice and free placefor younger women and older men,or older women and younger men,to interact witheach other.

SelinaaWozz
SelinaaWozz

Another restaurant cliaimed to use fresh mozz arellacheese,where it's dishes were actually made with economy cheddar.the"fresh pasta"advertieshed on another meau tumed out to befrozen.--Agedate. c0m --a nice and free placefor younger women and older men,or older women and younger men,to interact witheach other.

reality
reality

so how come these guys intended to beat a guy, and he dies, so the DA says it is 1st degree murderFullerton PD gives a guy a beating, and he dies, and it isn't murder, because they didn't intend to kill him.

The only way this would ever be anywhere near a fair trial would be to have the Deputy responsible face charges too.

Sta 18 veteran
Sta 18 veteran

Wasn't this the Cast that former ASST Sheriff Galisky&Bishop were forced to resign becasue they Lied to the Grand Jury.

Mr. Lex
Mr. Lex

They need to try the sherrifs as soon as this case is done.

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

Ahhhh, jail: the one magical place where you're punished for(alleged) sexual assault by way of being sexually assaulted. 

Smart, guys. Real smart.

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

as I understand, that will never happen . The deputies were cleared by their own investigation...

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