FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Case # 18NF2623
Date: May 20, 2019
Melanie Eustice, Chief of Administration and Public Affairs
Office: 714-347-8443, Cell: 714-975-3002
Kimberly Edds, Public Information Officer
Office: 714-347-8405, Cell: 714-504-1917
THIRD STRIKER HATE CRIME DEFENDANT FACING LIFE IN PRISON GIVEN LIGHT FIVE-YEAR SENTENCE BY JUDGE OVER OBJECTION BY DISTRICT ATTORNEY TODD SPITZER
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A third-strike defendant with a history of violence and committing hate crimes accepted a court offer and was sentenced to five years in state prison for chasing a pregnant African-American woman and threatening to kill her unborn child.
Tyson Theodore Mayfield, 43, Mission Viejo, had faced 38 years and six months to life in state prison. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office had argued for a sentence of life in prison, and objected to the court offer.
Mayfield was charged on Sept. 19, 2018, with one felony count of hate crime criminal threats with present ability to commit violent injury, one felony count of criminal threats, and one misdemeanor count of petty theft, with sentencing enhancements for hate crime with a prior conviction in 2017, and prior serious and violent felony convictions for assault with a deadly weapon in 2005 and mayhem in 2008 in Orange County.
Mayfield pleaded guilty to all charges today and was sentenced to the court offer of five years in state prison.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Roger B. Robbins originally offered a two-year sentence, but increased the offer to five years after Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer appeared in court on April 26, 2019 to object. District Attorney Spitzer appeared again at today’s hearing to reiterate his objection to the court’s light offer and the striking of one of the defendant’s prior strikes.
“He is a dangerous person. There is just no question he is a racist,” said District Attorney Todd Spitzer, noting Mayfield’s swastika and SS lightning bolt tattoos. “He is indiscriminately picking out people on the street because he doesn’t like the way they look and using violence against them. Is a five year sentence going to protect society against someone so evil?”
On Sept. 17, 2018, Mayfield approached a pregnant African-American woman sitting on a bus bench in Fullerton and yelled racial slurs at her. The defendant clenched his fists and repeatedly threatened to make the victim “drop” her unborn baby. Jane Doe feared for her safety and pepper sprayed Mayfield. The defendant stole the victim’s backpack and walked away.
Jane Doe contacted the Fullerton Police Department (FPD) who investigated this case but were not initially able to locate Mayfield. The victim returned to the bus bench and Mayfield approached her again, threatened to harm her, and used racial slurs. The defendant chased Jane Doe into a nearby café, where she remained until FPD located and arrested Mayfield. The defendant has multiple tattoos of symbols associated with white supremacy.
In a victim impact statement presented to the Court pursuant to Marsy’s Law, Jane Doe expressed her desire for a longer sentence. She fears for her safety and her children’s safety if Mayfield has access to find them and make good on his threats. Jane Doe stated in part: “This situation has worsened my diagnosis of PTSD. Then it physically affected me. When Tyson was walking towards me telling me ‘I'm going to make sure you drop your baby. It's a promise making sure you have this baby. I don't like pregnant n****** like you, I have a field day of doing that,’ I felt very scared … When he made these threats towards me, what came to my mind was that he wanted to physically hurt me and my unborn child and do whatever he could for me to have this baby.”
“I literally had to run for my life when I was 8 months pregnant. I was protecting myself and my unborn child,” she told the court. “I feel like he should be in prison for much longer. Five years is not enough.”
Deputy District Attorney Laila Nikaien of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.
Prior Hate Crime Conviction
On Sept. 4, 2017, Mayfield approached John Doe in a commercial parking lot in Fullerton. The defendant became agitated because the victim did not have a lighter he could borrow. Mayfield called John Doe, who is Filipino and Turkish, a racial slur and punched the victim multiple times. A nearby witness called 911 to report the incident. FPD officers responded to the scene and arrested the defendant.
Mayfield was convicted in on Oct. 19, 2017, of one misdemeanor count of hate crime assault causing injury. As part of his Court-offered plea, the charge was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, and prior strike conviction enhancements were dismissed. Mayfield was sentenced to one year in county jail.
At the time of the crime, Mayfield was on parole.