Sonoma County Stolen Lives 2000-2014


No more secrets. We demand timely, full disclosure of information in all police killings. These are the names of those who died at the hands of Sonoma County law enforcement, since a 1999 recommendation from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission Advisory Commission for a Civilian Review Board:


1. Phillip Tony Medina -48- Died January 7, 2000 – just hours after being moved to a hospital from the Sonoma County Jail. Jail officials say Medina died of the flu, but hospital records show that by the time he was admitted Medina already had infection throughout his body and organs were beginning to fail.

2. Francisco Sanchez – Died February 19, 2000 – On parole and afraid of being sent back to prison, Sanchez sped away from a CHP officer in pursuit of his car.  He abandoned his vehicle and disappeared into some bushes near the rain-swollen Russian River.  His body was found six weeks later.

3. Audra Hynes – Died March 6, 2000 – Audra was fleeing a CHP officer in pursuit of her at high speeds on Hwy 12.  She lost control of her car, crashed and died.

4. James William Curran –51- Died March 19, 2000 – in handcuffs after Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an early morning call of a man behaving strangely. Deputies claim they handcuffed Curran in order to prevent him from hurting himself.

5. Erin Colleen McDonald -31- Died April 10, 2000 – after being shot five times by Windsor Police Officers who broke into her home after she had called them for help during a psychotic episode.

6. Todd Eugene Dieterle -37- Died May 4, 2000 – after being fired at 13 times and shot seven times by Santa Rosa Police and the Santa Rosa Junior College Police after they were told that he had robbed a convenience store with a painted plastic squirt gun.

7. Robert Francisco Camacho -35- Died May 4, 2000 – after being shot 5 times outside his home by Rohnert Park Police during an armed battle. His wife had recently sought mental health treatment for her husband but was told he could not be involuntarily committed unless he was a danger to himself or others.

8. Barry Alan Rogers –45- Died July 19, 2000 – in Sonoma County Jail (Sheriff’s Dept.) after six days of in jail, apparently a suicide. Inmates interviewed said that Barry was distressed and disoriented when he was incarcerated and asked for mental health attention. Soon after he arrived in the jail, Rogers’ mother died, which certainly should have alerted jail officials to put him on suicide watch, which was not done. Some jail employees admit Rogers’ death was due to a “classification error.”

9. Paul R. Daniel –51- Died September 28, 2000 – in Sonoma County Jail. The official story: when found on the cell floor by deputies, Daniel “became combative and had to be restrained.” He was then taken to booking where he began vomiting and died soon after. Inmates tell another story — that overwhelmingly, inmates inside think Daniel was beaten to death. Whether or not this proves to be true, the fact that the inmates think it’s true makes the jail a very dangerous place for inmates and correctional officers alike. The fact that, in the face of an inconclusive autopsy Daniel’s brain was sent off for further study, and that correctional officers involved are refusing to cooperate with Santa Rosa police officers investigating the death only raise the suspicion level.


10. Carey Steinberg Baron -23- Died April 8, 2001 – in the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility, reportedly by hanging himself with shoelaces in a bathroom. His family stated that he was doing well for the first time in his life and couldn’t think of a reason that he would kill himself.

11. Unidentified Person –Age Unknown- Died July 21, 2001 –in custody. The 2001 – 2002 Sonoma County Grand Jury Critical Incident Report referenced this death, but no trace of this person’s death could be found in local media.

12. Patrick McLoughlin -19- Died October 23, 2001 – when he turned a gun on himself after exchanging gunfire with Petaluma Police following a failed marijuana heist at a Petaluma home.


13. Luis Solario Gonzalez – 23- Died February 28, 2002 – in the back of a Sheriff’s patrol car, in what was determined by the Sheriff- Coroner to be a drug overdose while in custody.

14. Thomas John Connelly -49- Died May 8, 2002 – while in custody in the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility. Connelly was found hanged in his cell with a sheet four days after he was booked at the jail. He was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication.


15. Serena Roxanne Case -32- Died January 16, 2003 – of an apparent drug overdose while in custody. Case was the eighth jail inmate to die in six years, four by suicide and four by drug overdoses.

16. Keith Thompson Suite -42- Died April 8, 2003 – After being in a coma for 10 months following a heart attack suffered as he was being forcibly removed from a cell at the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility.

17. Seth Micah Warde -22- Died July 10, 2003- after being pulled over by CHP officer for speeding. The officer’s report claimed that Warde shot himself in the head with a .38 caliber pistol while in his own car.

18. Anthony Zakharoff -49- Died July 27, 2003 in custody after collapsing at the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility. While he was being booked at the jail, authorities said Zakharoff appeared to need medical help and then stopped breathing. He died soon after at a nearby hospital.

19. Michael William Behring-52- Died November 18, 2003 after being arrested on a warrant by Sheriff’s Deputies. Michael was awaiting booking at the county jail when a nurse recommended that he be taken to the hospital. Authorities said he admitted to ingesting methamphetamine near the time of his arrest. Cause of death was determined to be a drug overdose.


20. Joseph Alan Peay -35- Died September 17, 2004 – after being shot 10 times by a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy (Boustany who also killed Kenneth Hugh Duncan in 2005) and a CHP officer as he placed a loaded handgun in his mouth and shot. He was intoxicated and had been fleeing from a DUI checkpoint.

21. Kenneth Hugh Duncan -62- Died November 11, 2004 – after he was shot nine times by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputies (Deputy Boustany who also killed Joseph A. Peay in 2004, Deputy Brad James also shot Roger Wayne Anderson in 1999 ) during a standoff, in which he killed his brother-in-law during a psychotic break.

22. April Hanlon -35- Died November 25, 2004 – in front of her home after Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputies claim she shot herself with a shotgun but was also fired upon at 10 times by Deputies because they thought she was shooting at somebody else..


23. Terry Lee Grinner Jr. -30- Died January 28, 2005 – when Rohnert Park Police shot him twice in the back as he attempted to flee on foot after a traffic stop.

24. Carlos Casillas Fernandez -31- Died July 16, 2005 – in his home while having a psychotic episode, after being shot by Santa Rosa Police with Taser stun guns six times, hit with a large amount of pepper spray and put in a neck restraint while getting handcuffed.

25. Donna Gean Welch -48- Died August 21, 2005 in custody. She was booked into jail that night and discovered unconscious in her cell about 48 hours later. Welch, who was homeless, had been placed in the jail’s general holding cells, but on a status requiring medical staff to monitor her condition more frequently due to drug withdrawal. The last medical check was done one hour and 24 minutes before her body was discovered. Jail policy requires guards to perform routine checks on inmates every 30 minutes. Deputies said that although two more interviews with guards have to be done, records gathered by investigators indicate that Welch had been checked “right at the 30 minute mark.”

26. James Anthony Decosta -72- Died October 1, 2005 – when he was shot 27 times and fired upon 42 times after he pointed a loaded handgun at Petaluma Police after a car chase. He was being sought on child molestation warrants.

27. Michael Tolosko Died December 7, 2005 – His mother said he died after being shot with a Taser stun gun and said Sheriff’s Deputies didn’t believe her when she told them her son stopped breathing and ignored her pleas for medical aid. The official cause of death was determined to be Agitated Psychosis, a “condition” commonly associated with Taser use and subsequent death –sometimes called Excited Delirium.

28. James Richard Nace -42- Died December 10, 2005 – when a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy turned his own gun back on him as they attempted to arrest him for possession of marijuana.


29. Moses McDowell -29- Died November 6, 2006 – he was bipolar and was suffering ethanol Withdrawal in the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility.


30. Haki Kuasi Gaidi Thurston -23- Died February 23, 2007 – after being shot 27 times with assault rifles by SRPD Swat team (One of these officers, Sgt. Richard Celli, also killed Richard DeSantis this year). Haki was unarmed and running AWAY from police. Sgt. Richard Celli, Sgt. Stephen Schwartz, Officer John Barr and Officer Brian Boettger.

31. Jeremiah Chass -16- Died March 12, 2007 – at his home after being shot 8 times by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputies while suffering a mental health crisis, armed only with a pocket knife, and locked in a minivan.

32. Richard Desantis -30- Died April 9, 2007 – in front of his home after being shot twice with a handgun, a rifle and with plastic bullets by Santa Rosa Police, who were told by his wife in a clear and loud voice, that this was a mental health emergency and that her husband was unarmed. Officer Travis Menke, Sgt. Richard Celli, Officer Patricia Mann.

33. Walter L. Heller -55- Died April 22, 2007 – after suffering a brain injury as he fell to the ground in front of his home while unarmed, after being shot twice with Tasers by Petaluma Police Officers. Officers Gary Buffo, Jason Lechleiter and Dustin Rodrigues.

34. Luis Felipe Sanchez -27- Died May 4, 2007 – after being shot seven times by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputies after they entered the home of his girlfriend and cornered him in a bathroom. Deputies Mike Frank, Greg Myers and Joe Dulworth

35. Richard Lamont Williamson Jr. -54- Died June 17, 2007 – according to the Sheriff’s Department while suffering from withdrawal in the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility.

36. Ryan George -22- Died July 9, 2007 – while suffering from sickle cell anemia in the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility after repeated requests by his family for treatment by his personal physician.

37. Gregory William Townsley -46- Died September 24, 2007 – according to the Sheriff’s Department while suffering from withdrawal in the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility. Mr. Townsley was a houseless resident of Santa Rosa.

38. James Marrufo  – 48 – Died November 30, 2007 – Marrufo was in jail after a drunk driving arrest.  He notified a guard that he did not feel well.  Marrufo was taken to Sutter. Because there were supposedly no critical care beds available at either Sutter or Memorial, he was taken to Marin General.  He died of an apparent massive stroke.  He is alleged to have incurred multiple drunk driving offenses within a short period of time.


39. Jesse Hamilton -24- Died January 2, 2008 – a mental health client, was shot by Santa Rosa Police who were responding to a mental health crisis call.

40. Samuel Antonio Castillo-Martinez -37- Died March 13, 2008 – in custody at the Sonoma County Honor farm. An autopsy revealed no signs of trauma or other suspicious circumstances, and Sheriff’s officials say that this 37 year old man, in otherwise perfect health, may have died from “cardiac-related natural causes”

41. Heather Smith (Billings) -31- Died March 16, 2008 – after being shot by Rohnert Park Police who were responding to a mental health crisis call.

42. Leobardo Medina Pacheco – 38 – April 21, 2008 succumbed in hospital after found hanging in Sonoma County Jail on April 18.

43. Guy James Fernandez – 42 – November 10, 2008 Taser death at the hands of Rohnert Park Public Safety. According to the Sheriff, Fernandez may have been under the influence of methamphetamine.

44. Craig Von Dohlen -37- December 6, 2008 – shot when confronting Sheriff’s deputies with a rifle

45. Nathan Vaughn -39- December 22, 2008 – Killed by Taser Sheriff’s Department. Had called day before asking to be taken into custody


46. Jon Gerald Moore -44- September 18, 2009 Died in Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility. “No obvious signs of trauma and nothing suspicious.”


47. Teresa Ellen Hagan – 44 – January 22, 2010 – Died and found hanging in a “padded sobering cell” and later on died in the hospital.

48. Albert Mike Leday, Jr -June 1, 2010- Coddingtown- shot and killed by Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Fuston after high speed chase. 3rd person killed by Fuston.

49. Michael Lee Molgard -34- September 9, 2010 apparently jumped to his death from a high railing in Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility.

50. Nicodemus Sullivan – 24- October 31, 2010 – Shot and killed by Sheriff’s Deputies and CHP after cops mistakenly thought he was “ramming” cop cars. 41 shots fired.

51. Brian Leonard Gittings -44- December 5, 2010 – died after he appeared to have trouble breathing at the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility.


52. William Jackson – 59 – April 15, 2011 died after suffering “medical distress” at North County Detention Facility

53. Pablo Perez Ramirez – 25- November 25, 2011 – pulled a revolver from his waistband and was killed by Sebastopol PD officer


54. Richard Shreckengaust – 37- March 2, 2013 – killed by Sheriff’s Deputies in Guerneville.

55. Neils Conrad -55- April 22, 2013 – found unconscious on the floor of the dorm room bathroom at the North County Detention Facility.

56. Urbano Moreno Morales – 48- June 9, 2013 killed by Windsor Police (Sheriff) after he had killed his ex-girlfriend and charged police.

57. Christopher Eric Augustin -37- October 15, 2013- Man dies after struggle with Santa Rosa Police Department. The man appeared to suffer some kind of medical emergency after police confronted him at the apartment, police officials said. Death is being investigated by Sonoma County Sheriff’s office.

58. Andy Lopez Cruz – 13 – October 22, 2013 – Andy Lopez Cruz was shot by a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy while he walking through an open field carrying a plastic replica of an AK47 in broad daylight, in Santa Rosa.

59. Wayne A. Courtright – 58 – died November 19, 2013 – shot and killed by Sonoma County Deputies in Guerneville after his wife allegedly called for help, saying Wayne was intoxicated, suicidal and threatening to kill her. Deputies arrived and surrounded the resort. Officers reported they heard gunfire inside. Wayne is alleged to have then come outside and fired at deputies, who allegedly fired back, killing him.

60. Jordon Hector – 34 – died November 22, 2013 – chase ending at the outskirts of Forestville/Windsor with Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputies, alleged suicide. A former girlfriend allegedly called 911, after Hector allegedly forced his way into her Santa Rosa apartment and threatened her. Ultimately a chase took place between Hector and deputies, which ended when Hector’s vehicle was stopped by a spike strip. Hector allegedly shot himself before deputies could reach him.


 61. Everado Romo – 43 – Died February 14,  2014 – According to the Press Democrat:  Sheriffs had an arrest warrant for Romo for alleged sexual assault.  Romo told relatives he was going to kill himself.  Relatives called police.  Sheriffs launched a helicopter search in the Healdsburg area.  In the meantime, according to authorities, Romo had broken into a Healdsburg home.  When the residents returned and found him there, there was an altercation. 911 was called.  Healdsburg PD showed up.  Romo is alleged to have shot himself during the ensuing struggle.

62. Miguel Garcia – 34 – died April 2, 2014 – standoff with Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputies, alleged suicide. Garcia was alleged to be connected to a Mexican crime organization, to have participated in 2 recent kidnappings and 1 murder.  Found by officers in a Kenwood trailer.  A 24-hour standoff ensued.  He died outside the trailer after several rounds of tear gas were deployed and officers fired at him.  His death was later called a suicide.

63. Wayne Hoffman – 48 – died April 6, 2014 – Struggle with SRPD, Brutality? Hoffman was riding his bicycle at around 1:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning when he ran a red light.  An officer pursued him.  Hoffman crashed his bike when the officer tried to stop him.  2 more officers arrived on the scene. There was a struggle (beating?)  Then Hoffman had a medical emergency.  He was taken to a hospital where he was allegedly pronounced dead.

64. Glenn Raymond Swindell – 39 – died May 17, 2014 – In Larkfield,  standoff with Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputies,  alleged suicide. At around 9:00 p.m., Sheriff’s deputies responded to a domestic disturbance.  Officers persuaded the man to release a woman and 2 children, but after an hour of negotiations, there were no more responses.  8 hours passed with no response.  In the meantime, SWAT arrived, also 30 cops, an armored truck.  Neighbors report flash bang grenades exploding throughout the night.  Finally, cops entered the home and allegedly found the man dead.

65. Charles Weathers, Jr. – 35 – September 23, 2014 – Jail death – Weathers entered the jail in late August. He had a medical emergency on September 22 and was taken to Sutter Medical Center where he died the following day. His mother, Carol Weathers, said the medical emergency was a result of his ulcers. Authorities say they will investigate.

66. Mikol Stewart – 37 – September 28, 2014 – Jail death – Stewart was found by another inmate in his cell at the Sonoma County Jail at 10:20 in the morning. He appeared to have hung himself. Sheriff’s officials said that Stewart was being held without bail on charges of burglary, illegal possession of a firearm and for murder in a Petaluma homicide.

67. Diego Armando De Paz – 31 – October 8, 2014 – Jail death – De Paz had been sentenced to 15 days in jail for a DUI. On the evening of October 6, he had turned himself into the jail. He was found dead in his bunk by another inmate in the early morning hours of October 8. Other inmates had lowered him from the top bunk to attempt to revive him. When officials arrived, the inmates were told to leave De Paz alone. Officials made minimal attempts at resuscitation.

68. Rhonda Jean Everson – 50 – October 18, 2014 – Jail death – Everson, a transient, was arrested October 17 on drug charges. She was said to have had a long history of substance abuse and medical issues. Authorities say she was placed in a special housing unit. Despite that, she was found dead around 24 hours after entering the jail. According to a friend, Rhonda, a long-time drug user, could not be expected to survive complete withdrawal.

69. Keila Verdusco, – 17 –  February 28, 2015 – High speed chase death – Latina? – Keila, a student at New Beginnings continuation high school in Talmage, died following a high speed chase initiated by a Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputy. Keila was spotted driving erratically at 1:25 a.m. in Windsor. She is alleged to have been driving south on the 101 freeway at over 100 miles per hour. She was pursued but is said not to have realized that until she reached Airport Boulevard. In a supposed attempt to evade the pursuit, she exited Highway 101 at Hearn Avenue. She took the exit curve too fast, crashed into a drainage area and is reported to have died immediately. Her three passengers survived with injuries.

One Response to Sonoma County Stolen Lives 2000-2014

  1. Pingback: PACH – Sonoma County Stolen Lives 2000-2013 List | Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez

Leave a Reply