Murder Suspect Kyle Zoellner Arrested For Meth Possession In 2013

Kyle Zoellner, left, Josiah Lawson, right

In 2013, Kyle Zoellner was arrested for possession of meth where he pled no contest.

He received three years probation and was promised if he was to successfully complete his probation, the meth charges would be expunged from his record.

23-year old Zoellner is accused of stabbing 19-year old David Josiah Lawson to death at an off campus party Easter weekend.

Witnesses at the party say that Lawson was approached and being accused of stealing a phone by “two white girls” and Zoellner.

At some point Lawson was pepper-sprayed prior to being stabbed.

JohnChiv.blogspot is operated by a man who lives in the area who covers all of the court cases coming out of Eureka Jail.

In a post about Zoellner’s arraignment, John Chiv listed the prior offenses of Zoellner which included him pleading no contest to meth possession.

Family and friends are releasing statements of Zoellner’s innocence, relying heavily on police misconduct and their failure to secure the crime scene.

Zoellner’s family and friends are currently trying to paint the picture that “the murderer is still out in the community.”

Zoellner was arrested at the scene and he admitted to police that he was involved in a physical fight with Lawson, which are recorded in the probable cause reports.

Following Lawson’s death, we gained much insight into who he was as a person from his family and friends. Little to nothing was known about Zoellner other than the information on his Facebook page, which was quickly taken down.

When I saw Zoellner’s sister-in-law speak on camera to our local news, it made me wonder where Zoellner’s blood family members were, such as his mother, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles to speak on behalf of Zoellner as they would know him best.

While researching the name Kyle Zoellner online, people that he was related to popped up.

The police had reports of drug activity at this trailer and went there to conduct a probation search.

“A search of the trailer resulted in the seizure of approximately 16.1 grams of heroin, approximately 2 pounds of marijuana bud, approximately 2 pounds of marijuana trim, digital scales, packaging materials, and drug paraphernalia.”

The woman pictured above, is Zoellner’s mother and was the same woman who showed up in support of him at court.

The grandfather of Wissel’s obituary is online due to him being a neurosurgeon near the Los Angeles area.

Zoellner’s grandmother works as a nurse for the Humboldt County Department of Health and his father works for the county of Humboldt as a planning technician.

These are the images of white America that America too often hides–while broadcasting the white, wouldn’t hurt a fly, working-class professionals as the poster child for America as if there is only one experience of whiteness.

Small towns are so similar to the inner city in regards to the crime and drug-use that it breeds due to the lack of economic opportunity and isolation.

The week prior to Lawson being stabbed, Zoellner hit another Black male over the head with a bottle which is information provided by the police themselves.

Lawson’s mother is visible to the public, speaking on behalf of her slain son. Zoellner’s family, especially his mother, should be forced to do the same.

Zoellner’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday, May 1st at 9:45 a.m.

The preliminary hearing is the day of Lawsons funeral.


Zoellner’s family denying he murdered HSU student

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. Follow Me on IG @Slausongirl

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  1. Heather from Honeydew

    Good job girl! You’ve done some great investigative work here! I’d like your opinion on the current situation regarding this Renalynn character, Lawson’s girlfriend. Sounds like she started the fight, and it seemed that Zoellner and the girls didn’t want to fight at that point, as per Lawson’s witness. I believe whole-heartedly that those girls who accompanied Zoellner are lying…easy to tell, but I’m not certain this matters. Still doesn’t mean you should stab someone, but in a mob-scene, with this Renalynn running her mouth, (as per usual) I think this was an incredibly timely situation for Lawson. He was ultimately killed (I believe) because of his girlfriend’s insatiable draw to fighting with others, and I think he jumped in to protect her. The white girls got scared and started spraying, Zoellner was scared so he pulled out a knife. Sure, he’s a druggie. Many here in Humboldt are addicted to something. And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree either, we know this. Zoellner was also arrested in a domestic dispute too, so I’ve been previously told. Still though, it doesn’t mean he went all crazy, and like I said before, even Wright said Zoellner seemed to not want to fight but only that he was inquiring about a missing phone when Ren started running her mouth. I think he’s going to get off. He’ll become a hero in McKinleyville’s large white trash/homophobic/racist community, and there will be more racial tension in an area, particularly Arcata, which has been known for peace, love, and happiness for 50+ years. What a shame Arcata has turned into over the years. Anyway, great job!

  2. You literally have conducted better journalism than the entirety of the Arcata/ Humboldt press efforts. Perhaps they are just keeping things under wraps to preserve the case….but no it does appear to just be more of the same insulated small town bullshit. Thank you for your honest efforts to ensure the truth gets out. The fact that Zoellner’s girlfriend was not arrested at the scene is beyond me.

  3. Thanks for sharing this info. Josiah’s murder is heartbreaking to many local community members, like myself.
    What’s gonna happen now that school’s out and students (ie uninterviewed witnesses) are scattering? It really seems the APD dropped the ball. Hope they’re still working this case like it’s day 1…

  4. I am so disappointed with the service community in Arcata and heart broken for this young man and his family and friends. God bless him, his family and the students at HSU. This is so sad and so wrong. It may be time for students to transfer to a university with more diversity. CAL STATE University should provide and support a transition to another school. What is HSU doing to help the students cope with this horrific act?

  5. Hi,

    who is Zoellner’s blonde girlfriend??? Whyisn’t her name mentioned anywhere?