Two dead following Lawson’s Landing shooting

03/27/2014

A teenage boy was allegedly murdered by his lover’s roommate at Lawson’s Landing early Thursday morning, following months of reported domestic disturbances. 

Ken Neville, 56, was charged with murder in the shooting of 19-year-old Stachaun Jackson, for which he could face a life sentence. 

The victim’s 51-year-old lover, Eric Gillespie, has since committed suicide in another county, according to a report yesterday in The Marin Independent-Journal. 

The two older men apparently lived together in Hayward before they moved to Lawson’s Landing last summer. Mr. Jackson had begun to stay at the trailer a few months later, said Willy Vogler, the campground’s co-owner. 

Recently the young man had made an effort to meet everybody and become “more of a fixture,” he said.

The details of what led to a gun firing on Thursday morning remain unclear. 

At around 2:30 a.m., deputies received a 911 call about a verbal disturbance at Mr. Neville and Mr. Gillespie’s trailer. On the way to the scene, deputies learned that Mr. Jackson had been shot, and medical personnel pronounced the young man dead at the scene. 

Mr. Gillespie was in the vicinity, but he did not witness the shooting, Lt. Scardina said. 

The Independent-Journal reported that the two older men told detectives that they asked Mr. Jackson to leave, but he had refused and had broken through the trailer’s window. 

The teenager threatened them with a knife, the men said. When Mr. Jackson lurched toward him, Mr. Neville allegedly fired at his chest. (This account is unconfirmed by the sheriff’s department.)

The murder follows three prior domestic disturbances at the same trailer. Although sheriff’s office protocol adopted in 2012 encourages a pro-arrest policy “to break the pattern of violence and to deter future abuse,” no arrests were made after the previous incidents.

In July, deputies responded to a case of alleged assault at the campground: two people were fighting, and one threatened suicide. As the person threatening to kill himself was being transported to Marin General Hospital for a psychiatric hold, he reported that he had been assaulted earlier in the evening. 

In December, someone placed a 911 call about another domestic disturbance. By the time deputies arrived, the parties had gone separate ways and neither wanted to pursue any further action, Lt. Scardina said. 

Within the last month, Mr. Neville called deputies to ask that Mr. Jackson “not come around anymore.”

Many of the residents who own trailers at the Dillon Beach campground keep to themselves, but Mr. Jackson was a familiar face in the area. 

“He’d make a point to say, ‘How’s it going?’” Mr. Vogler said. 

Mr. Jackson would often spend just a few nights a week at the trailer, Lt. Scardina said. His primary address was listed in Guerneville, a small community along the Russian River in Sonoma County.

“I don’t really know much about his past. He seemed pretty friendly,” said Paul Cummesky, the manager at the Dillon Beach Store. “It seemed like he had a real big heart.”

A few weeks ago, phone books were delivered to the vacation trailers in Dillon Beach; when Mr. Jackson saw Mr. Cummesky picking the books up before they were ruined by rain, the young man volunteered to help. 

He came into the store a few times asking for work, and spoke of ambitions of becoming a nurse, Mr. Cummesky added.

The man presumed to be Mr. Gillespie was often seen walking his dog or crabbing by the boathouse, Mr. Vogler said. Mr. Neville was rarely seen and preferred to stay behind the high fence around the trailer.