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[whitespace] William Carl Jahn was there to buy drugs, not kill, attorney says

Campbell--William Carl Jahn's lawyer admitted last week that his client was at the scene of a double homicide in 1984, but said Jahn was a victim, not a perpetrator.

Jahn, the former owner of Campbell's Central Bodyworks at 60 E. Sunnyoaks Ave., is on trial for his alleged participation in the Sept. 15, 1984, shooting deaths of two Cambrian Park residents.

Harry Robertson, Jahn's lawyer, told the jury of eight men and four women that his client showed up at the scene of the crime, John Charles Evans' house on Ronda Drive, to buy some drugs at about 1 a.m. Evans painted cars by day and manufactured crystal methamphetamine by night.

Jahn had met up with Evans at a local convenience store and then followed Evans back to the house, Robertson said. When Evans opened the front door, the shooting began and Jahn was shot four times--in the wrist, abdomen, shoulder and buttocks. Evans was killed, with one shot in the shoulder and another passing through his left forearm, which he held up to protect his head, and into his left temple.

Santa Clara County District Attorney John Luft said Jahn is partially responsible for the deaths of Evans and his half brother, Mickie King, who lived in the house's converted garage.

Robertson said that Jahn did not go to the police or a hospital to treat his wounds because a friend told him that whoever shot him would probably come after him again because ìthese people don't like witnesses.

After the prosecution and defense finished their opening statements July 25, it became apparent that Jahn's trial will not benefit former Cambrian Park resident Glen "Buddy" Nickerson, who was convicted for his involvement in the crimes and has served 17 years of a life sentence to date.

Nickerson's case has been highly publicized, and he has always maintained that he is innocent and was not involved in the double homicide. Nickerson's attorneys said that Jahn told them Nickerson had not been involved at all.

Now, Robertson said, Jahn doesn't know who was there.

Luft portrayed Nickerson as a menacing, violent man who was well-known among law enforcement. During his opening statement, Luft showed the jury a slide of Nickerson's mug shot and told them that at the time of the murders, Nickerson was a very large man, weighing almost 400 pounds.

A witness who allegedly saw Nickerson casing the neighborhood the night before the murders will be called to testify during the trial, Luft said.

Also, as Robertson has pointed out, Nickerson had a motive, whereas no motive has been uncovered for Jahn.

On July 25, Evans' former girlfriend, Barbara Payne, testified that in the summer of 1984, Harry "Nicky" Nickerson, Buddy Nickerson's younger brother, barged into Evans' house and held a shotgun to her head. Nicky was trying to steal some of the cash that Evans was known to keep around the house. Payne said she pushed the gun upward and it discharged into the ceiling, alerting Evans, who then shot Nicky in the chest and kicked him out the door, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Nicky died in the 1990s from what was believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Tony Silva, a sergeant with the Gresham Police Department in Oregon, was a deputy sheriff with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department when Nicky was shot. He testified last Wednesday that Buddy Nickerson told him that he had better take care of the situation or he would handle it himself and gave Silva 30 days.

The shootings took place 30 days later.

Only one witness has testified that he may have seen Nickerson running from the scene of the crime, but that witness has since said he feels he was pressured into saying it was Nickerson by two sheriff's deputies, Jerry Hall and Brian Beck. Both men, whom a judge determined had lied under oath--causing a mistrial to be declared--are now captains with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department.

One key witness who has yet to be called is Michael Osorio, the only survivor from the night of the murders. Osorio was Evans' long-time friend, and both the prosecution and defense said he will testify that Evans was in the process of moving out of the neighborhood. Osorio had told Evans that dealing drugs would get him in trouble and that if he ever cut off his buyers, there would be a violent retaliation.

A Sacramento resident, Osorio is also expected to testify that he heard King address one of the masked intruders as "Buddy," asking him to loosen the cuffs, and that he then saw a very large person hit King over the head with a gun, Luft said.

Nickerson's lawyers have argued about whether King was actually addressing Buddy, or if he was using the ambiguous term "buddy" because he didn't know the person's name.

Osorio was shot in the back of the head, but somehow managed to survive. Photos shown to the jury during Luft's opening statement showed blood-smeared walls, mostly in the kitchen, where Osorio tried to push himself into a standing position.

Jurors also saw photos of Evans' body, with bullet holes in the rear left shoulder, through a tattoo on his arm and a gaping hole in his head. They were also shown a photo of Evans lying dead on his front porch, slumped against the wall and laying in a pool of blood.

Bloody dog prints are spotted around the body because a pit bull puppy Osorio had brought to the house that evening managed to get outside after the shootings took place.

Jurors saw a photo of Brett Wofford, who served time for supplying handcuffs that were used to cuff Osorio and King. They also saw a photo of Dennis Hamilton, who was about 15 years older than his cohorts and is serving time for his involvement in the murders. Hamilton's ex-wife, Norma Goytia, is expected to testify that he took her gun and left it at the scene of the crime. Luft said Goytia will testify that Hamilton told her to call the police and tell them her home had been ransacked, which he'd done earlier that evening.

The trigger man, Murray Lodge, was not shown to the jurors. Payne told jurors that Evans once told her that Lodge was the craziest person he'd ever met and that he'd rather have him as a friend than an enemy.

Luft said that not long after the shootings, Lodge kicked down the door of a house in a remote area of the Los Gatos Hills and pointed two steel revolvers at the woman who lived there. She was a retired schoolteacher and Lodge demanded she give him food and clothing, and then he stole her car. Luft said the woman, now deceased, testified that Lodge told her if the police ever found him, there would be a shoot-out and bragged about his participation in the crime.

The prosecution may decide to call Jahn's ex-wife, Kimberlee, to testify as well. Ray Medved, an investigator with the district attorney's office, interviewed Kimberlee as recently as July 24, and she allegedly told him Jahn had admitted to being at the scene of the crime Sept. 15. This information was not mentioned in either attorney's opening statement.
Erin Mayes

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