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District Attorney

Posted on: May 5, 2017

Kyle Zoellner Not Held to Answer for the Charge of Murder

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Office of the District Attorney - Maggie Fleming, District Attorney


May 5, 2017

The recently completed preliminary hearing concerning the tragic death of David Josiah Lawson did not result in Kyle Zoellner being held to answer for the charge of murder. In the hearing, the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office presented all the information available, including testimony by seventeen witnesses with distinct accounts of key events. In addition, all available physical evidence was presented to the Court. The hearing proceeded while the investigation is ongoing because a person has the right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days of arraignment. The information presented in the hearing differed from the information available when the case was charged and additional information is expected, including more analysis of the knife found at the scene and analysis of blood samples found on clothing. Like the initial charging decision, any future charges in the case will be determined by available evidence. Anyone with additional information relevant to the investigation should immediately bring that to the Arcata Police Department. The District Attorney contacted the victim’s mother and her pastor to discuss the outcome of the hearing and advised her the investigation remains open.