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Grand Jury Process Begins in David Josiah Lawson Case

Humboldt County, CA– The grand jury convened this week in the death of David Josiah Lawson. Although there has been no official release of the news in local Humboldt County news, sources close to the investigation on both sides have revealed this information.

19 members of Humboldt County’s grand (mostly elderly, all white) jury, heard evidence in Lawson’s case from prosecutors and questioned those who were subpoenaed. A list of Humboldt’s grand jury members are listed on their courthouse website.

Sources say the process lasted about three days.

It has been close to two years now since 19-year-old David Josiah Lawson was stabbed and killed at an off campus party. 23-year-old Kyle Zoellner was arrested at the scene but later released after a preliminary hearing due to a “lack of evidence.”

The investigation has been a long, drawn out process that has taken various twist and turns, brought about by consistent public pressure from students, some local community members and Lawson’s mother.

On Nov. 6 2018, then interim Arcata Police Chief Richard Ehle delivered the case to Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming.

Prior to that, however, the public continued to reiterate at city council meetings and vigils for Lawson that they felt bias, institutional racism and an overall lack of will had his case at a standstill.

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Former FBI investigator Tom Parker seemingly confirmed this information while working on the case with APD. He terminated his contract with the city of Arcata during the summer of 2018. Parker gave multiple interviews after his departure from the case, stating to KQEDS California Report:

“I was very concerned about the progress of the case. I was concerned that I was being given what I would refer to as stalling representations or being told about things were supposedly being done only to find out they were not being done by the police department.”

His revelations led to the abrupt resignation of then APD chief Tom Chapman.


The McFarland’s are one of the families who have found themselves in the middle of the Lawson investigation. Their daughter, Angelica, was friends with Zoellner’s girlfriend and also present at the party where Lawson was killed. Anjelica’s father Wayne writes in an email:

Truth is Raining in Humboldt!!! Thank you for being objective, truthful & fair. We shout out to ALL, lasting change will only be if we set as MANDATE. Love is fair!!! Love is giving conscious truths. NO matter what!!! Set the bar yourself for loving all as a mandate, for it is only through love, inclusion, giving, demanding fairness and giving conscious truths as mandate for all comes change. 

ONLY THROUGH OUR WORKS, LIVING EXAMPLES OF THIS understanding that we UNITE IS ONLY THE WAY FORWARD. UNITY IS ONLY WAY FORWARD. As we are all historically judged and the justification for oppression brought further validation reinforced by the actions of well-meaning but misguided actions of weak links… Akin to Pavlov’s dogs a few of pack ( those who know all without diligently seeking all facts. Thus, becoming the very cancerous predator and unfair oppressor they clammer against) think they hear bell and bark thus the pack is hoodwinked by a few whispers & assumptions; an emotional, vengeful, self-righteous, unjust, graceless pack mentality is set in motion, off to feed oblivious to lacking truthful facts.

About slausongirl

Slauson Girl is a South Central native who has a love for journalism, history and all things Hip-Hop. She holds a B.A in Critical Race & Gender Theory & a Minor in Journalism.

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