May 4, 2017

"Regrettably, I wrote the name Zoellner"; Det Losey admits error; Lawson cause of death "stab wound to chest"

After Officer Jacob McKenzie, Officer Devin Nielsen, the officer, first to arrive at the crime scene and put Kyle Zoellner in handcuffs testified.

Officer Nielsen described that when he first arrived, "approximately 100 subjects were outside, yelling and screaming." He described the crowd as "agitated, angry, chaotic."

People pointed him to a "subject" they said had stabbed someone.

"I saw Mr. Zoellner swaying being held up by two females. He had a swollen right eye; blood emitting from nose and mouth, blood splattered on knees and blood droplets on front of his sweatshirt."

Officer Nielsen said that Zoellner declined medical attention.  "He appeared dazed; seemed out of it." Officer Nielsen said Ziellner was not angry; he was calm, polite and not intoxicated.

Officer Nielsen testified that Zoellner did not recall stabbing anyone. Zoellner said he asked about his girlfriend's cell phone and "he got jumped. Some guy got aggro on me."

Officer Nielsen retrieved seven cell phones from people who said,they were witnesses.

Officer Nielsen later spoke with Alexander Begoivic, Zoellner's supervisor at a local catering business. Officer Nielsen asked Begoivic to identify a bag found at Zoellner's residence. That bag was identified as being Zoellner's with the knives inside belonging to him.

"There were two kitchen knives," said Officer Nielsen, when he opened the bag. He was told by Begoivic "there was an empty slot where a paring knife should be."

Officer Nielsen said he did nit stop people from the party from leaving. He asked for witnesses and "anyone that said yes", was asked to stand in a corner by a fence.  Not everyone agreed to talk to him. They said they didnt care about talking to him. " They wanted medical."

"The only time I told people to leave the area was when people were getting near the patrol car. They were yelling at Zoellner, kbocking on windows."

When he asked those people for ID, only one responded by saying, "Fuck off."

During cross examination by Zoellner's attorney, Mr. Luke Brownfield, Officer Nielsen said that he showed Begoivic a picture of the knife found on the scene. Begoivic did not recognize that knife and said "he had never seen Kyle with a knife like that. There were similar knives at his business but not that knife," testified Officer Nielsen.

The next witness was Detective Eric Losey whose testimony was very brief. He did measurements of the crime scene, collected blood swabs at the crime scene and attended Lawson's autopsy that was conducted by Forensic Pathologist Dr. Mark Super. Cause of death was "stab wound to the chest."

He corroborated what Jasin Martinez testified to earlier this week. Martinez said that he saw someone being stabbed, he did not identify anyone by nane.

In his report of that interview, Losey said, "Regrettably, I wrote the name Zoellner." He admitted that was an error on his part and he had reviewed the audio file.


  1. I read the testimony of a friend of the victim where he kept talking about doing CPR, including chest compressions. I hope the pathologist is asked if the chest compressions would have exacerbated the original wound...
    It would be a bitter thing if it turned out the actions he took to try to save his friend's life only hastened the death. Sometimes, as it's been said so many times, a little learning is a dangerous thing. Knowing some EMT procedures is not the same as being qualified to know when to apply them.
    I hope you have some friends who can be good company for you this evening, help you decompress from the day's work.

    1. I wonder why they were doing chest compressions too. Did the friend testify he tried to find a pulse and found none?

      What I remember from CPR training was to check for pulse and breath first.

  2. I am sure anybody reading this immediately thinks the same thing. If the critical wound was to the chest, why was this fool doing chest compressions? Like Gabriele Gray above says.....knowing some EMT procedures is not the same as being qualified to know when to apply them!!

  3. I can't imagine that this case would have been charged were it not for Detective Losey' s error. Seems like the DA thought there was an eyewitness, and there wasn't. Keep in mind that there are strict time limits for charging case once a person is arrested, so prosecutors will not have time to listen to recorded interviews, they rely on the officer's narrative reports.