2.19.2009

TS - Homicide suspect facing trial for killing teen

☛ TS Homicide suspect facing trial for killing teen 12/21/07

Chris Durant The Times-Standard
Posted: 12/21/2007 01:15:28 AM PST

The final one of three suspects in a 1998 killing was held to answer to the homicide charge at the conclusion of his preliminary hearing Thursday.

Yohan Lopez was arrested in Stanislaus County last month after he gave a fake name to an officer in a traffic stop, but his fingerprints came back revealing his true identity.

Lopez, along with Santiago Lopez, Lopez's brother, and their cousin, Efren Erix Degladillo, are believed to have killed Ryan Matthew Dunn,18, in January 1998, outside a Eureka video store.

Santiago Lopez was caught within weeks of the killing, tried and convicted of being an accessory to murder. He was sentenced to two years in prison. Police believe Degladillo was killed in a car fire in Mexico within the last few years.

”But I've seen no official documentation of that,” said Eureka police Detective Neil Hubbard, who assisted Deputy District Attorney Allan Dollison during the hearing.

The hearing lasted three days with five prosecution witnesses called -- three former Eureka Police Department detectives and two evidence technicians -- all who originally worked the case.

Dollison said the number of years that past since the killing was not an obstacle for the hearing.

”Some memories were a little foggy, but they reviewed their reports,” Dollison said.

The three men reportedly approached Dunn in the store and tried to pick a fight with him.

Dunn, who was with his mother and girlfriend, refused their challenge, but was killed when he left the store. Dollison believes the motive went back to a few months before the killing.

”The victim and the defendant lived next door to each other for several months,” Dollison said.

He said the three men may have been retaliating against Dunn after he implicating them as dog thieves to another group of men.

The defendant's house was shot up and there was a home invasion robbery against Dunn two months before the killing.

Dunn's family attended the hearing the first two days, Dollison said.

An arraignment date was set for Jan. 7.
Chris Durant can be reached at 441-0506 or at cdurant@times-standard.com .

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