|For Immediate Release
Case # TBA
November 19, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
LAKE FOREST TEEN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR BLUDGEONING AND MURDERING MAN IN LAGUNA BEACH APARTMENT
SANTA ANA – A 19-year-old man will be arraigned tomorrow on one felony count of murder for bludgeoning and killing a Laguna Beach resident inside his apartment. Matthew Thomas Dragna, 19, Lake Forest, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. He is being held on $1 million bail and will be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, at 1:30 p.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
On Oct. 23, 2009, Dragna is accused of going to the Laguna Beach home of 40-year-old Damon Nicholson. The defendant is accused of bludgeoning the victim by repeatedly hitting him in the torso and head with a blunt object. Dragna is accused of leaving the victim on his couch and fleeing the scene after stealing personal items from Nicholson including a laptop computer and cell phone.
The victim was discovered Oct. 24, 2009, when a concerned co-worker went to check on the victim after Nicholson failed to show up for work or return any phone calls.
Dragna was arrested yesterday, Nov. 18, 2009, by the Laguna Beach Police Department (LBPD). The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact LBPD’s investigative division at (949) 497-0371 or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Ed Berakovich at (714) 347-8492.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.