Jun 7, 2016

Instead of arraignment Derek Payton pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Eliot Walin

Derek Payton was supposed to be arraigned this afternoon, instead he ended up pleading guilty to two counts, Count 2 and Count 5, voluntary manslaughter of Eliot Walin, which was added in the information filed for jury trial. Public Defender Casey Russo is Payton's attorney.

Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees subbed in today for his colleague Mr. Christiansen, who prosecuted the case.

The maximum sentence would have been 12 years, Payton plead guilty in an agreement for 11 years.

Both families, Payton's and the deceased victim, Elliot Walin were in the courtroom. Walin's sister in law Andrea Dorfman gave a brief and emotional statement. Words were exchanged between both families inside and outside courtroom. Three bailiffs had to show up to have Payton's family leave before the victim's family exited the courtroom.

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May 11, 2016

Derek Payton held to answer on all charges for Elliot Walin homicide

Finally, the preliminary hearing for Derek Payton was held today in Courtroom 1 with Judge John Feeney. He was held to answer on all charges.

 He is charged with four felony counts. Count 1 Murder of Elliot Walin; special allegation that Payton personally and intentionally discharged a firearm, a Taurus revolver. Count 2 Assault with a firearm on Nickolas Edmund Deremer; special allegation, causing great bodily injury. Count 3 is discharge of a firearm with gross negligence. Count 4 Maintaining a place for selling or using a controlled substance; marijuana; special allegation that he was armed with a firearm during the "commission or attempted commission of the above offense."

Deputy District Attorney David Christensen is prosecuting the case. Payton is represented by Public Defender Casey Russo.

Before the preliminary hearing, Mr. Russo spoke for about five minutes with Payton, who kept shaking his head, "no". I assume that was no to a plea deal.

EPD Detective John Gordon was the only witness. He is the lead investigator on this case.

Arraignment on information is on June 7, 2016 at 2 p.m..

Jan 28, 2016

Preliminary hearing rescheduled for Derek Payton charged with the murder of Eliot Walin

Due to a change in a new attorney being appointed in January, Derek Payton's preliminary hearing that was scheduled for February 9 has been vacated. He has a new intervention hearing on February 23 and his new preliminary hearing date is March 7, 2016.

Jan 6, 2016

Attorney for Derek Payton suspect in Eli Walin homicide files motion to withdraw

A hearing for confirmation of counsel and new dates to be set is scheduled for this afternoon.

Public defender Casey Russo was confirmed as Payton's attorney today.

Preliminary hearing is February 9 at 8:30 a.m.; Intervention is on January 26 at 3 p.m.

Nov 3, 2015

Derek Payton arrested for Eliot Walin homicide

I had already done a post that this was pot related on October 27.

Oct 27, 2015

"Everyone on the streets knows who did it", Source close to man shot at Watson and F alludes to pot as motive

Eliot Michael Walin, was known as Eli to his friends.

Michael Acosta, who represented Eli in his 2013 cases and considered him a friend called his death tragic. He leaves behind his young daughter, Elliot, named after him and a mother and sister who are very close.

Eli did serve time in prison, he had a few cases in the Humboldt Superior Court system, the most recent being the 2013 charges against him for assault on Deputy Conan Moore. He plead to one charge but had another similar charge dismissed. He also had two misdemeanor assault and battery cases in 2013, one against an Andrew Lee Cross dismissed.

"He was trying to turn his life around," Mr. Acosta told me this morning.

A source close to Eli who wishes to remain unnamed, said as far as he knows Eli was unarmed, has heard different versions of whether he was shot in the back or the chest and alluded to "pot" as a motive. "Everyone on the streets knows who did it."

EPD Press Release:

Department were dispatched to the report of multiple shots heard in the vicinity of the 1500 block of F Street.  Responding officers located a victim, Elliot Michael Walin (age 31 of Fortuna), lying in the roadway near the intersection of Watson and F Streets. Walin had sustained a single gunshot wound to his upper torso and was being attended to by a couple of citizens.

Medical aid was summoned and Walin was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.  While this was occurring, hospital staff contacted the EPD Communications Center to report a second male gunshot victim had been brought to the emergency room by acquaintances who found him walking on Wabash Avenue.  The second victim was uncooperative but admitted to investigators he was with Walin at the time the shooting occurred.

EPD quickly developed a number of strong investigative leads and a suspect was soon identified.  On 11/02/15, at about 12:30 PM, EPD officers were dispatched to a motel on the 1200 block of Fourth Street regarding a suspicious person/circumstances call (involving a possible embezzled or stolen vehicle on scene).  Upon arrival, officers located Derek Charles Payton (age 22 of Eureka) whom EPD investigators had previously identified as the suspect in the homicide.  Payton was taken into custody on two misdemeanor domestic violence-related warrants and subsequently transported to EPD Headquarters where he was interviewed by the lead investigator on this case, Detective John Gordon.

During the interview, Payton confessed to having shot at both victims over a marijuana-related dispute.  Payton was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on his warrants and for 187(a) PC (Murder) and 245(a)(2) PC (Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Firearm).  His bail was set at $1,050,000.00.

Meanwhile, EPD investigators obtained search warrants for a room and two vehicles associated with Payton at the motel.  While securing the motel room, investigators detained a female occupant, Lindzy Rose Yee (age 30 of Eureka). Yee was on probation for drug related offenses.

During a subsequent search of the motel room, investigators located methamphetamine and heroin.  Investigators also located and seized a handgun believed to have been used by Payton during the shooting.

Yee was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where she was booked for possession of controlled substance while armed, possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of a stun gun by a convicted felon, and probation violation.

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