Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
PAROLE DENIED FOR MAN CONVICTED OF 1985 MURDER OF FRIEND AND ATTEMPTED MURDER OF POLICE SERGEANT IN BOTCHED ROBBERY
SANTA ANA – The Board of Parole Hearings, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations, denied the parole today of a man convicted of the murder of his friend and the attempted murder of a Huntington Beach Police Sergeant in a 1985 botched robbery. Christopher Michael Sheehan, 49, is currently being held at California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo. Sheehan was sentenced July 11, 1986, to 37 years to life in state prison for felony counts including first degree murder, attempted murder, robbery, burglary, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm and assault with a deadly weapon. Sheehan will be eligible for his next parole hearing in 2016.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) opposed the parole and Orange County Senior Homicide Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy appeared at Sheehan’s parole hearing this morning to defend public safety and advocate for justice.
Murder of Thomas Oglesby and Attempted Murder of Sergeant Ed Deuel
At approximately 9:30 p.m., on April 13, 1985, then-23-year-old Sheehan and 21-year-old Thomas Oglesby, both parolees, entered Things For Your Head in Huntington Beach armed with firearms, with the intent to commit an armed robbery. The shop sold drug paraphernalia and other related items. One of the three employees, Cindy Marchette, asked Sheehan and Oglesby if they needed assistance but they declined and walked around the shop until the remaining customers left the store. Sheehan and Oglesby approached Marchette in the back of the shop and Oglesby pulled out his handgun, stating, “Do you know what one of these are? My friend has one too. Put the money in the bag.”
Oglesby then had another employee, Laura Ecker, go to the register to retrieve the cash while Marchette walked around with Sheehan and Oglesby to load the bag with store items. While at the register, Ecker stepped on and activated the silent alarm. After taking their money, Sheehan and Oglesby ordered the three employees to sit on the floor of the backroom and not run out the back door.
Sergeant Ed Deuel of the Huntington Beach Police Department was in the area and responded to the silent alarm and confronted Sheehan and Oglesby at the entrance to the shop. Sgt. Deuel ordered the two men on their knees, against the wall. Sheehan engaged the sergeant in an argument and distracted Sgt. Deuel while Oglesby reached for his gun and fired at Sgt. Deuel, hitting him once in the chest. Sgt. Deuel, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, fell back over the hood of a car. The victim regained his footing and fired back, killing Oglesby. Sheehan, infuriated, fired his shotgun at Sgt. Deuel and fled the scene.
Sheehan was arrested in Kern County, CA, on a warrant for the attempted murder of Sgt. Deuel and murder of Oglesby. On April 23, 1985, Sheehan was transported to Huntington Beach to face murder charges.