TONY RACKAUCKAS, ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Date: August 5, 2011
Susan Kang Schroeder, Office: 714-347-8408, Cell: 714-292-2718
Chief of Staff Farrah Emami, Spokesperson, Office: 714-347-8405, Cell: 714-323-4486
Case # 06CF3677; 08ZF0021: FIVE JAIL INMATES FACE TRIAL FOR BEATING-DEATH OF FELLOW INMATE BELIEVED TO BE IN CUSTODY FOR CHILD MOLEST
* Three additional defendants have been convicted and sentenced in this case and charges are pending against a fourth
SANTA ANA – Opening statements are expected to begin Monday against five jail inmates for the beating-death of a fellow Theo Lacy Facility inmate who was believed to be a child molester. Garrett Eugene Aguilar, 28, Anaheim, Stephen Paul Carlstrom, 42, Anaheim, Jared Louis Petrovich, 27, Tustin, Miguel Guillen, 48, Santa Ana, and Raul Villafana, 24, Santa Ana, are each charged with one felony count of murder and face a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted.
Opening statements are expected to begin Monday, Aug. 8, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. in Department C35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Three co-defendants have been convicted in this case. Michael Stewart Garten, 25, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty Jan. 11, 2011, to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years in state prison. Christopher Teague, 35, Long Beach, and Jeremy Dezso Culmann, 27, Corona, pleaded guilty Jan. 18, 2011, to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter and were each sentenced to 15 years in state prison. Co-defendant Eric Charles Miller, 25, Huntington Beach, is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. Miller is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Nov. 11, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C35, Central Justice Center.
On Oct. 5, 2006, the defendants are accused of targeting inmate John Chamberlain because they believed he was a child molester. Chamberlain was in custody on misdemeanor possession of child pornography charges. Inmates Petrovich and Villafana are accused of being the “shot-callers” for their respective racial groups. Guillen is accused of being the third in command in Villafana’s group, and Aguilar and Carlstrom are accused of being the second and third in command of Petrovich’s group, respectively. Carlstrom is accused of questioning Chamberlain about his charges and reporting back to Petrovich. After getting the information from Carlstrom, Petrovich is accused of ordering the beating of Chamberlain.
The inmates are accused of beating Chamberlain repeatedly inside a cell in the jail facility by punching, kicking, and stomping on him. Chamberlain was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A Special Criminal Grand Jury (SCGJ) was empanelled in May 2007, at the request of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) to investigate Chamberlain’s death. The full report detailing the finding of the SCGJ was released by the OCDA April 7, 2008. To view this report, visit the OCDA website by clicking here.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh and Deputy District Attorney Keith Bogardus of the Homicide Unit are prosecuting all of the defendants in this case.
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