[UPDATED with Odd Twist:] Steven Craig DePhillips, OC Homicide No. 42: Found Stabbed in Driveway of Residence Near Country Club

Categories: 2011 Homicides
Jeffrey Alec Henderson
UPDATE, SEPT. 12, 8:39 A.M.: Costa Mesa Police investigators still are not releasing many details about a motive (or anything else) in the Aug. 30 stabbing death of 40-year-old Steven Craig DePhillips near Mesa Verde Country Club.

However, it's been revealed that DePhillips died in the driveway of the Capri Lane home of the parents of his ex-girlfriend, whose twin sister once dated Jeffrey Alec Henderson, the Costa Mesa 50-year-old accused of killing DePhillips.

The Daily Pilot has this odd twist in the murder case.

Laura Gregory's 6-year-old daughter with DePhillips, Catherine, lives in the home with her grandparents. They were out to dinner when DePhillips, who visited Catherine daily, got into an altercation with Henderson that resulted in the stabbing. DePhillips died at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana and Henderson was arrested later that night.

Henderson once dated Laura's twin sister, Lisa, reports the Pilot, which also discloses that earlier that same day, Catherine was at the nearby home of Jim Righeimer. Catherine is friends with the controversial Costa Mesa mayor pro tem's daughters.

Services for DePhillips are scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.

Henderson, who is charged with murder, is being held without bail in Orange County Jail.

UPDATE, SEPT. 6, 4:59 P.M.: The Costa Mesa Police Department today released the identity of the 40-year-old man who died after being stabbed in front of his a home near Mesa Verde Country Club on Aug. 30.

He was Steven Craig DePhillips.

Jeffrey Alec Henderson, 50, of Costa Mesa, remains locked up in Orange County Jail on suspicion of murder, notes the police statement that offers no other new details about the crime.

ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 31, 1:26 P.M.: A 40-year-old man died at Western Medical Center from stab wounds, and a man who may have been fighting with the victim Tuesday has been arrested for the departed's murder.

Jeffrey Alec Henderson, 50, of Costa Mesa, was arrested without incident in Fountain Valley and booked on suspicion of murder, according to the Costa Mesa Police Department.

His bail was set at $100,000.

Costa Mesa cops received a medical-aid call about 6:20 p.m. Tuesday from a residence in the 3000 block of Capri Lane, which is a chip shot away from the Mesa Verde Country Club. Police found the 40-year-old lying on the driveway in front of the residence on a cul de sac with stab wounds to his left torso and chest area. Costa Mesa Fire paramedics treated the man and rushed him to Western Med, where he later died from his injuries. His identity is being withheld pending notification to family members.

According to a Costa Mesa Police statement: officers and detectives interviewed people at the location, but it could not determine if the dead man was stabbed at the residence or dropped off there. They heard about another man in a blue truck or SUV. He may have been involved in an altercation with the victim.

Courtesy of the Costa Mesa Police Department
Costa Mesa cops moved in quite quickly on murder suspect Jeffrey Alec Henderson.
He was believed to be Henderson, who was "associated with subjects residing at the Capri Lane residence" and who knew the dead man, according to police. A blue SUV matching the description of the suspect vehicle was discovered parked in the 2200 block of Pacific Avenue. Police believed people living with or known to Henderson were helping him.

He was ultimately found in the passenger seat of another SUV driven by someone else and stopped by Costa Mesa cops near Brookhurst Street and Warner Avenue in Fountain Valley.

Henderson was then taken to the Costa Mesa Police Department Jail. The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with related information is asked to call Costa Mesa Police Detective Scott Stafford at 714.754.5363 or Sergeant Ed Everett at 714.754.5395.

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Justice Really Isthis
Justice Really Isthis

Quite frankly that B.S. isn"t even believable by the idiot who wrote it.  Hello, started a new and prosperous business of what burglary? The guy was a wanted fugitive in other states and on probabtion here.  Had police contact that day on multiple occassions, was even cited- should have been taken in as he had clearly violated his probabtion (talk about a system draggin it's butt).  Seeing his little girl as in visiting, like making it a point to set aside time and come for a visit.  Yeah, that would explain why the first contact with the police involved him being woken in the morning due to "a vehicle" he was driving needing to be towed from in front of the home...that he was "visiting."   Right...and was this just a random visit?  The article stated they were out to dinner. I can"t imagine that better arrangements wouldn"thave been in place given his lack of custody. Based on the alledged phone call to his P.O. regarding his unwanted presence, beligerent and I do believe the word violent behavior....it seems common sense  ought to tell you he was living the home.  Why else would he have returned on foot to the home when he was cited and the vehicle he was driving was impounded, if he didn't live there, had been told not to be there?  I suspect he wasn't driving at the time which is why they did not take him in for being under the influence, which then leads to who was driving (not too hard to figure out given they were cited too.  Yet seems they were picked up while he was left?  This fine young man? In whose opinion, I'd like to know really...cause all the evidence seems contrary and I almost bank on the fact that this B.S. comes from the real culprit (S).  I bet the "for whatever reason" has a name too. Perhaps the sling they've got their arm is the lack of evidence to support MURDER (kind of hard to do when there isn"t any evidence of premeditation and there is forensics supporting the claim of self defense). Stabbed to death,is that what the toxicity report indicates.  Two superficial lacerations and one 2 inch puncture wound in the shoulder.  I bet it's hard to know given the reports of the amount of vodka he choked on as he waited for 911 to arrive.  Given the reports of the call being made at 6:20 pm when the incident and his discovery had occurred prior to 6pm one has to wonder why so much concern regarding the length of time involved in the presecution (especially when the accused  is locked up anyway); seems a level of concern would be generated regarding the delay in treatment.  I agree it is a tragedy that should have could have been avoided.  What's unfortunate is that the avoidance was completely in the hands of so many people who supposedly should have had his best interest at heart yet; "for whatever reason" (yeah, hmm) wasn't.  Perhaps the justice system is trying to determine that, before throwing another life away.


What is the question? A fine young man that had just gotten things going in the right direction - starting a new and prosperous business, seeing his little girl (whom he adored and lived for) was STABBED TO DEATH! For whatever reason, the fact still remains that a murder has taken place and the justice system is dragging its butt - on prosecuting the murderer! The only odd twist that i see - is that the swift arm of the law is still in a sling? 

Justice Really Isthis
Justice Really Isthis

Did I miss something? What was the odd twist? I find it odd that the victim had a dispute with a neighbor over a vehicle the deceased had parked in front of the property that was about to be towed.  This resulted in his first contact with police that day.  After which there was supposedly an argument with the child's Grandma (Mrs. Gregory) in which his probation officer was called and told she wanted him off the property, not to return because he was drunk on drugs and violent.  He reportedly left and was stopped nearby the home, cited, the vehicle impounded yet he was allowed to leave the scene on foot.  Apparently he returned to the home where the assailant was parked in the driveway using his cell phone to call the twin he had dated whom he was supposed to be meeting there; when the victim attacked him through the window (which was broken and therefore stuck down).  Interesting that the wounds reported as two lacerations to the torso and one 2 inch puncture wound to the upper shoulder/chest area were consistent with a pocket knife the "assailant" is known to carry at all times (hardly a murder weapon. The alleged assailant is referred to as an acquaintance yet he dated at least one of the twinsand at one point lived in the home.  Both twins and  the deceased are on the "assailants" facebook.  It appears there is recent activity both prior to the incident as well as since; from the mother of the child of the deceased. her latest post was actually to correct the address to the jail where the accused had had someone post a request for friends to write/visit him. Once article states she is his "ex" but it appears from her postings on his obituary page (although delayed until 2 wks after his death), that they were still in a relationship.  Is it just me or are there more odd twists which seem to warrant further investigation, beyond who coincidentally lives on the block? HMM.


I would like to know where you get off gossiping about this case that is still open. The last time I checked records were not available until the settlement of the case.   The facts are not disclosed until the trial.  So this is purely speculation (B.S.) Leave this one up to law enforcment why don't you   Mrs. " Deputy big badge".

Justice 2 From Me to You
Justice 2 From Me to You

This is to GET A LIFE...G E T  A  L I F E!!

What are you, 12?? Talk about someone "speculating"!! Please do us all a favor and do some researching before you open your mouth and more ignorance pours from it.

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