Jul 10, 2018

Justice for Josiah posts cash reward and persons of interest in the Lawson murder case

Justice for David Josiah Lawson posted this on Facebook. Since Shelley Mack's name is on it, did she approve the poster? Is she aware of the poster?

I have emailed Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming, Arcata City Manager Karen Diemer and Arcata Police Department regarding this poster.

Information on this poster about any of five women being persons of interest has not been verified by the District Attorney or Arcata Police Department or the City of Arcata as part of any official investigation. The rest of the information is a summary of what was said at the preliminary hearing. It is not exact testimony.

For those readers who are not local or not familiar with the case, Humboldt State University student David Josiah Lawson was stabbed to death in April 2017. A suspect, Kyle Zoellner, was arrested but after the preliminary hearing, the case against Zoellner was dismissed.

Lila Ortega is Zoellner's girlfriend.

Others, including me, were also tagged on Facebook today.  However, this poster was forst published on the Facebook page on July 6.

This is a letter sent by Congressman Jared Huffman requesting FBI assistance.

There is extensive coverage of the case on this blog, including very detailed coverage of the preliminary hearing. All posts can be accessed via the search feature.


  1. It seems very unlikely, at this point, that this case will ever be resolved. I am not going to say that APD covered themselves in glory that night, but they were dealing with a chaotic scene which included what can I will characterize as a hostile crowd (based on what I have read of the prelim). They made mistakes, but from what I can tell the mistakes were not motivated by racism, they were just mistakes. The whole red herring about the knife bag was unfortunate and seems to have cemented APD's suspicion of Mr. Zoellner, but another error which I believe was significant was one officer inaccurately stated in his narrative report that a witness had identified Mr. Zoellner as having been in a physical confrontation with Mr. Lawson. I imagine that's one reason the DA filed charges (with an in-custody arrest, there's a ticking clock, and often all the prosecutor has to go on is the written narrative, the recordings don't always come in right away and even then one has to make time to listen to them). Here's the other key error: No officer got a warrant (or for that matter asked for consent) to search the party house to see if a knife similar to the one found at the scene was there, or asked anyone if they recognized the knife. A kitchen knife is a weapon of opportunity, it's not something one would ordinarily carry about to use as a weapon. I believe that it's reasonable to infer that the knife came from inside the house. Of course that assumes it was the murder weapon, and as far as I know that has not been established (it certainly wasn't established at the prelim).

  2. Looks like the creator of this flier has just provided evidence for a slam-dunk slander case against them