[UPDATED with Details on Funeral, Arrests:] Jensen Gray is Fatally Stabbed; Childhood Pal Ryan Bright Held

See the update at the end of this post with details on the funeral and the arrest records of the victim and suspect.

jensen gray facebook.JPG
Jensen Gray / Facebook
ORIGINAL POST, JULY 12, 1:37 P.M.: Two apparent friends and former classmates at Laguna Beach High School were partying in an apartment near Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade early Wednesday when one of the men was stabbed.

Fatally.

Now, one pal has been arrested for the murder of the other, 27-year-old Jensen Gray of Laguna Beach.

My colleague Dennis Romero of our big sistah paper LA Weekly is all over this case like a homicide detective's cheap suit. And its small wonder. Murders in Santa Monica are big news, being as rare there as they are in, well, Laguna Beach, where the crime log is mostly crammed with reality-star jaywalking reports. This was Santa Monica's first slaying of 2012.

Police were called to the apartment at 425 Broadway at 3:25 a.m. Wednesday after a 9-1-1 caller reported someone had been stabbed. Officers arrived to find Gray dead in the living room.

ryan-taylor-bright_santa-monica-pd.JPG
Courtesy of SMPD
Ryan Taylor Bright
Details are sketchy beyond that. Witnesses reportedly confirmed to Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) investigators that Gray and Bright knew one another and that for reasons not yet disclosed things turned violent between the two during a house party.

Police later identified the suspect as 26-year-old Ryan Taylor Bright of Santa Monica. At last word he was being held on suspicion of murder and in lieu of $1 million bail.

Based on the Facebook pages of Gray and Bright, they had been FB friends up through that fateful morning.

The incident did not happen in a fleabag dive. Romero reports that what is known as the Archstone Santa Monica Apartments "stands across the street from celebrity-patronized clothing boutique Fred Segal."

UPDATE, JULY 19, 9:38 A.M.: The public is invited to memorial services for 27-year-old Jensen Gray at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 1042 Temple Terrace, Laguna Beach.

His mother describes Gray and Ryan Taylor Bright, the Santa Monica man suspected of killing Gray, as friends since childhood in Laguna Beach. "I don't know if we'll ever be able to understand what happened," Kerry Gray reportedly told the Orange County Register.

The pair had run-ins with the law, the daily's Claudia Koerner reports: Gray pleaded guilty on several occasions between 2005-10 to drug and/or paraphernalia possession, drawing probation and jail time. He and Bright as co-defendants pleaded guilty in 2007 to possessing and being under the influence of drugs.

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

My Voice Nation Help
21 comments
checkingin
checkingin

What ever happened with this? Has his trial started?

Dissapointed
Dissapointed

Matt - I am never one to comment after reading an article, but I feel compelled after reading this. The way you wrote this is a travesty. I pray that the family of the victim never comes across this insensitive abomination. It sounds like you are reporting on a pep rally for your high school newspaper with ridiculous wording like "big sistah." Awful, sad, horrible. Strongly rethink your career as a writer. Your editor should be embarrassed for letting this slip through. Shame on OC Weekly.

Staycore04
Staycore04

This is probably very close to the truth

Streets
Streets

No way,,,Fat Tits Reed I mean like shes like....who in the fuck is she?

El Chingon
El Chingon

This is bullshit! I am at work right now with Ryan Bright! He is working as a loan officer! He has escaped jail in order to be with his one true love, 'Fat Tits' Reed..... True Story. 

Matthew T. Coker
Matthew T. Coker

If I had a nickle for every weekend stabbing in the greater Anacrime/Santa Cannon area, I'd be able to pay off my credit cards!

Bill T.
Bill T.

So, in lieu of having access to information they should make it up?

tampa flower delivery
tampa flower delivery

You have a great weblog and I like your style of writing about this stuff. Keep up the good work!  

Suburbanwisdom
Suburbanwisdom

That's incredible character - Always stepping up, Matthew T. Coker and seem to be a very cool dude and great writer/reporter.

Hugo A. Arenas
Hugo A. Arenas

He's actually 26. Drugs. Hard drugs will age you. Heroin or meth that guy was on. What is with the user comments on your website? So much hate towards the author of the article. Sad.

Streets
Streets

Totally false claims!  White people do not commit crimes!!!!! right Mitch.........Mitch.....hello Mitch.......Mitch....are you there..........MITCH!!!!

Jasen
Jasen

At that hour and by the look of (friend) coming down from meth, uhh Drugs.

Matthew T. Coker
Matthew T. Coker

I thought the Register did cover that one. I know they had the rash of shootings in Santa Ana. Because I track cases through to their conclusions (conviction or not guilty verdict), and because there is only one of me, I stick mainly to murders, with the sex offenders thrown in when I can just so I can warn people by posting the (alleged) creep's picture. If it's a very public crime or suicide, I might cover it. And celeb crimes get in, despite my being ... how did the fellow put it above? ... oh, yes: a TMZ fail. (That's going on my business card!) I'll cover DUI crashes with murder counts, but if I covered all car crashes and crimes with non-life-threatening injuries, that would be all I would be writing about. My opinion is we blog plenty of crime already. Sorry about your friend's brother, though, can you keep me up to date on it at mcoker@ocweekly.com, pretty please?

949girl
949girl

Matt, Any knowledge of this crime even though it's off topic?  There was a stabbing at a motel last Saturday in Anaheim, the 7th,  ( I know this because the victim was my friend's brother) yet no details have been released. They know who the suspect is and he hasn't been caught so I'm wondering why I haven't read about it in the Weekly or Reg.  Cops wouldn't release any details to my friend and her family.   Suspect will be charged with attempted murder for stabbing him 7 times.  I'm wondering why the details haven't been released.

Venusse Dominique
Venusse Dominique

Alex, they're pointing out the victim and suspect's connection. The headline kind of explains that to you.

Alex Smith
Alex Smith

i dont get the importance of mentioning laguna beach high school. i havent read the article yet, but the guy in the picture looks at least 40... just sayin.

Howard_X
Howard_X

That clears things up for me thanks for your help!

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @Dissapointed Not embarrassed at all—do you read our paper often? This is actually one of our tamer stories...

949girl
949girl

 Thanks for the response!  They reported on other stabbing(s) but not this one. I actually found something about it on CBS' website.  I can email it to you but it's not worth reporting on. 

Now Trending

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Fashion

Loading...