The Hayfork Homicides: What We Now Know
On April 4, James Jachna (age 41) and Amanda Patton (age 21) were shot to death at their residence on Carter Gulch Road in Hayfork. At approximately 11:30 p.m., an individual contacted the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office telling them that the two were dead. The unnamed individual reported that Jason Brady said he had killed the couple. Deputies were dispatched to the couple’s residence. When they arrived, according to a press report released by the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, they observed an individual moving around in the residence. The release states,
The subject ran out of the back of the residence in attempt to escape. Deputies pursued and captured the subject identified as Jason Brady a short distance from the residence. Deputies detained Brady and checked the residence where they found 2 deceased bodies. Detectives were contacted and responded to the scene. Investigators interviewed Brady who admitted to killing both victims.
Next door neighbor, Summer Bashore said she and her husband had not heard anything suspicious and were only awoken by law enforcement moving around the victims’ home. According to her, Brady, was working for the couple. Amanda Patton, Bashore said, “was born and raised here–Mom, Dad, sisters and nieces, [and] nephews all here.”
Bashore noted that the couple were nice neighbors. “James…always tried to help people who needed a leg up,” she said.
Another Hayfork resident, former schoolteacher, Tom Garten said, “I knew Amanda and her family from school and she was a great, sweet kid.”
In Garten’s opinion, crime in the rural town is increasing while school enrollment is down. “I have resigned my teaching job and put my home up for sale,” he wrote, “[W]e had to use guns to chase off intruders several times this year and both of my dogs have been shot and wounded. It is very scary here now.”
“Hayfork is still a tight-knit community oriented town,” said Summer Bashore. “We do have more property theft now. The majority of our property theft problems are related to the local tweeker population… But, some of the larger crimes are becoming more common.”
Earlier Chapter: Two Dead and One Arrested for Homicide