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The Tragic Murder of Damon Nicholson: A Nightmare in Laguna Beach
Damon Nicholson, a beloved resident of Laguna Beach, California, was brutally murdered in his home in October 2009. The shocking crime left the tight-knit community reeling. After years of investigation and legal proceedings, the case of Damon Nicholson’s murder is now being covered in the third season of The Real Murders of Orange County on Oxygen.
Who Was Damon Nicholson?
Damon Nicholson was a prominent gay businessman and event planner at Hotel Laguna. He was well-known both professionally and socially, mainly for his Fourth of July parties and other celebrations. His kind and caring nature earned him the nickname of “peacemaker” amongst family and friends.
The Tragic Night
On the early morning of October 23, 2009, two men, Jacob Anthony Quintanilla and Matthew Thomas Dragna, snuck into Nicholson’s house and attacked him with a baseball bat while he was asleep on his couch. The attackers struck him at least five times in the back of the skull and torso, killing him. The two men also stole Nicholson’s laptop computer, a cell phone, and other electronics before fleeing the crime scene.
Police were only able to connect Quintanilla and Dragna to the crime after interrogating contacts from a gay dating website. Officers from the Long Beach Police department carried out multiple interviews that ultimately resulted in Dragna’s arrest. Damon Nicholson’s stolen possessions were discovered at Dragna’s residence, and more stolen belongings were found in a garbage can near his house. DNA evidence found at the scene also connected them to the crime.
The Trial and Sentencing
Dragna was convicted of killing Nicholson in 2013, but his retrial was mandated in 2016, concluding that Laguna Beach police had violated his right to counsel by questioning him further. Finally, in October 2021, both Dragna and Quintanilla accepted respective plea deals. Dragna pleaded guilty to several charges, including voluntary manslaughter, burglary, and assault with a deadly weapon, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Quintanilla pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and burglary and was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison.
Damon Nicholson’s murder was a tragedy that shook the Laguna Beach community to its core. His kind and caring nature will always be remembered. The case is a reminder that justice can take time, but it is essential to seek it for the victims and their families. The Real Murders of Orange County episode on Nicholson’s murder will bring the case back into the spotlight and help to keep his memory alive.
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News Source : morp.morestrarlight
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