|For Immediate Release
Case # 06CF3677 &
October 25, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
FIVE JAIL INMATES CONVICTED OF BEATING-MURDER
OF FELLOW INMATE BELIEVED TO BE IN CUSTODY
FOR CHILD MOLEST
* Three additional defendants were previously convicted and sentenced; charges are pending against a fourth
SANTA ANA – An Orange County jury convicted five jail inmates today of the beating-murder of a fellow Theo Lacy Facility (Theo Lacy) inmate believed to be a child molester. Garrett Eugene Aguilar, 29, Anaheim, Stephen Paul Carlstrom, 43, Anaheim, Jared Louis Petrovich, 27, Tustin, Miguel Guillen, 48, Santa Ana, and Raul Villafana, 25, Santa Ana, were each found guilty of one felony count of second degree murder. They face a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison. Their sentencing date is to be determined.
Three co-defendants were previously convicted in this case. Michael Stewart Garten, 26, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty Jan. 11, 2011, to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years in state prison. Christopher Teague, 35, Long Beach, and Jeremy Dezso Culmann, 27, Corona, pleaded guilty Jan. 18, 2011, to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter and were each sentenced to 15 years in state prison. Co-defendant Eric Charles Miller, 26, Huntington Beach, is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. Miller is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Nov. 11, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C35, Central Justice Center.
Facts of the Case
In October 2006, Petrovich was the “shot-caller” for the Caucasian prison-controlled gangs barracks where he was housed at Theo Lacy. Aguilar and Carlstrom were the second and third in command, respectively. Villafana was the “shot-caller” for one of the Hispanic prison-controlled gangs in the same barracks and Guillen was his third in command.
While incarcerated at Theo Lacy, Carlstrom confronted inmate John Chamberlain to determine for what charges Chamberlain was incarcerated. Chamberlain was in custody on misdemeanor possession of child pornography charges. The inmates targeted him because they believed he was a child molester. After questioning the victim, Carlstrom reported back to Petrovich.
Petrovich met with Villafana and the two decided that Chamberlain should be sexually assaulted and beaten. Petrovich informed other inmates that Chamberlain was a child molester and authorized the Caucasian inmates to assault him. Villafana authorized the Hispanic inmates to assault him. Both defendants offered an incentive for inmates by offering 10 commissary items to any inmate who participated in the sexual assault of Chamberlain.
On Oct. 5, 2006, Carlstrom and Aguilar led Chamberlain into a cube inside the barracks that was out of sight from Orange County Sheriff’s deputies. The inmates proceeded to violently attack the victim. Petrovich was one of the first to participate and punched Chamberlain at least one time. Villafana and Guillen punched and kicked the victim. Carlstrom kicked, punched, and stomped on the victim. Aguilar punched, kicked, and stomped on the victim and anally penetrated him with a pencil. The other convicted defendants also participated in the attack.
In between assaulting the victim, Aguilar walked out of the barracks to brag to other inmates about beating Chamberlain and then returned to the barracks to continue his assault. After the attack, Aguilar and co-defendant Teague shook hands and congratulated themselves, causing Aguilar to wince in pain from hurting his hand by hitting Chamberlain with so much force. Teague responded by telling Aguilar that that’s why he used his feet instead of his fists.
In addition to the extreme physical beating of Chamberlain, evidence was presented during trial to show that he had also been anally penetrated with a spoon and toothpaste tube.
Chamberlain was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead due to respiratory arrest from his broken ribs. The victim sustained 43 breaks to his ribs, fractures and contusions all over his body and face, and a doctor testified during the trial that every single organ in Chamberlain’s body had injuries.
A Special Criminal Grand Jury (SCGJ) was empanelled in May 2007, at the request of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) to investigate Chamberlain’s death. The full report detailing the findings of the SCGJ was released by the OCDA April 7, 2008. To view this report, please visit the OCDA website at www.orangecountyda.com and select Reports from the “DA Office” pull-down menu.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh and Deputy District Attorney Keith Bogardus of the Homicide Unit are prosecuting all of the defendants in this case.