|For Immediate Release
Case # 07ZF0004
December 2, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
TWO MEN FACE TRIAL FOR STABBING-MURDER AND ATTEMPTED MURDER OF BOUNCERS AT BAR
AT NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY
*Co-defendant to be tried for destroying evidence and helping one man flee the scene
SANTA ANA – Two men face trial tomorrow for stabbing two bouncers, killing one, after being asked to leave a bar on New Year’s Eve for making disparaging remarks about Marines. Lorne Paul Kelley, 28, Big Bear, and Ricky Lee Nelson, 29, Hesperia, are charged with one felony count of murder and one felony count of attempted murder. Kelley also faces a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon and has a prior strike for a 2000 assault with a deadly weapon conviction. If convicted, Kelley faces a maximum sentence of 70 years to life in prison and Nelson faces a maximum of 32 years to life in prison. Co-defendant Candie Kate Wilson, 47, Hesperia, is charged with one felony count of being an accessory after the fact and faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison if convicted. Opening statements are expected to begin tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
In the early morning of Jan. 1, 2007, Nelson and Kelley were drinking at the Time Out Tavern in Aliso Viejo with friends for New Year’s Eve. Nelson, who had formerly been in the Army, is accused of making disparaging remarks about Marines. Several of the bouncers and bar patrons were active or former Marines, and Nelson and his friends, including Kelley, were ordered to leave the bar.
Nelson and Kelley are accused of becoming irate that they had been forced to leave the bar. They are accused of yelling at the bouncers from the parking lot, taking off their shirts, and attempting to draw the bouncer from the bar for a fight. Kelley is accused of taking a knife from the trunk of his car.
While the defendants were in the parking lot, a patron of the bar was attempting to leave with his wife. The patron, an active Marine, was on leave after recently losing a leg while serving in Iraq. Nelson is accused of yelling at the man and attempting to punch him. Seeing the attempted attack, several bouncers entered the parking lot to intervene and subdue the defendants. Nelson and Kelley are accused of struggling with the bouncers and Kelley is accused of using his knife to stab two of them. He is accused of stabbing 21-year-old Brandon White once in the neck and stabbing 21-year-old Stephen Cirillo once in the neck and chest. White and Cirillo were transported to the hospital, where White was pronounced dead. Cirillo suffered minor injuries and was treated and released.
Nelson was detained at the scene by bouncers until police arrived. Kelley is accused of fleeing the scene and driving to Laguna Beach to meet Nelson’s aunt, Wilson. Wilson is accused of helping Kelley flee by driving him to Hesperia. She is accused of burning his tank top, which was covered in blood, and cleaning the blood from the inside of the car to conceal Kelley’s guilt.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.