Letter From Family Member Questions Testimony of Witnesses in Hearing About Kyle Zoellner’s Possible Role in the Death of David Josiah Lawson

David Lawson and Kyle Zoellner

David Lawson and Kyle Zoellner’s arrest photo.

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Letter to the Editor from Jay Zoellner [Uncle of Kyle Zoellner who was arrested, charged, and released from jail for lack of evidence in the homicide of David Josiah Lawson]
“It’s time for the APD to drill down into the testimony of Elijah Chandler and Paris Wright and for one moment dismiss Kyle Zoellner as the prime suspect”

During Paris Wright’s testimony he stated that Josiah had Kyle in a headlock and Kyle was lying face up and was on top of Josiah when he pried Kyle away from Josiah. This means Kyle’s back side was on top of Josiah’s abdomen area. He then stated he saw that Josiah was bleeding from his stab wounds on his abdomen. We also know from the hearing that Josiah did not have his t-shirt on according to Elijah’s testimony. If this actually took place then there should have been a large blood stain on the back side of Kyles’s sweatshirt. Clearly Paris Wright is lying about what took place as there was no blood found on the back of Kyle’s sweat shirt where there should have been a large blood stain. This false account of what took place given by Paris was not an accident or a mistake in what he saw as he was physically right next to Kyle and Josiah. This was a calculated and fabricated lie to hide the truth of what took place.

According to Elijah Chandler’s testimony he came straight out of the house to find out his friend had been stabbed and then immediately went to aid his friend. The problem with this version is it could not have happened as Elijah was part of the assault kicking Kyle in the head. Elijah’s version is not a mistake but was also calculated and fabricated to hide the truth. Paris stated he saw no knife when he pulled Kyle off of Josiah yet Elijah stated he saw a shiny object drop from Kyle’s hand. For Elijah’s version to be factual he must have seen Paris, Kyle, and Josiah at the same spot yet he stated in his testimony that he ran and located Josiah away from Kyle and Paris “some distance from the house”.

Elijah and Paris are lying, period:

After the murder, one or more of the girls shared with Kyle’s father exactly what they had witnessed at the house party. The one glaring part of what they shared was that Elijah Chandler was one of the attackers that were kicking Kyle in the head. If Elijah Chandler was part of the attack on Kyle it would have been before or during the time Josiah Lawson was stabbed as he (Elijah) was the one that ran over to find Josiah after he was stabbed. However, according to Elijah’s own testimony, he ran out of the house after Josiah had been stabbed and then ran over to where he was lying. This clearly could not of happened so why is Elijah lying about such a significant part of the time line. With his testimony he was clearly trying to distance himself from being part of the attack on Kyle but why? Is this why Kiaundrey Clark was kicked out of the fraternity when he gave a statement that there were many attackers kicking Kyle? The other witness’s including the Castillo brother’s and Paris Wright admitted to taking part in the attack on Kyle but again according to Elijah’s statements he never took part in the attack on Kyle.

In Conclusion:

If the police would step back for one moment and remove Kyle as the prime suspect they would see some glaring items to investigate. Starting with the above information would seem like a logical place. Elijah Chandler for some reason has tried to make sure he was not associated with the altercation with Kyle and yet it is clear he took part in the altercation before he ran over to where Josiah was lying after he was stabbed. Why would he continually lie about this? Paris Wright fabricated a scene where Kyle was face up on top of Josiah’s bleeding body but there was no blood on Kyle’s back side. Both of these individuals are fabricating events that could not have happened and they are the 2 key eye witnesses.

In a scrum of a bunch of individuals that are in an altercation and are being sprayed with mace anything could of happened that morning in regards to how Josiah was stabbed and by whom. We know that the Castillo brothers, Paris Wright, and Elijah Chandler have been identified as being in the altercation that involved both Josiah Lawson and Kyle Zoellner. We also know that when people purposely lie they should be considered prime suspects as they are hiding the truth.

If the APD (Police Chief Chapman) has not taken the fingerprints of these individuals and checked to see if they match the finger print on the knife found at the scene he must be removed from his position in the APD as he must be able to understand that people lie to hide the truth. Finally, Chief Chapman has no reason to not formerly address the public at this time and acknowledge whether everyone’s fingerprints have been tested as long as he does not confide in what was discovered at this time.

Earlier Chapters:



  • Why don’t you leave it to the court’s selected jury, instead of publicly ruining your nephew’s chances of a fair hearing.

    • you should be so lucky to have somebody so dedicated to clearing your name should YOU really and truely be charged with being a racist murderer, and your name slandered as such all over the county you live in.

      • So lucky a family member could ruin his chances for a fair trial? Hasn’t anyone ever talked to a lawyer? No no no, they would tell this family member. If they really cared, they’d seek legal counsel & stop ruining his nephews chances. Come on people!

        • I agree with you. Given how small our community is he is gonna struggle to find a jury that hasn’t been exposed. They will indeed have preconceptions during the trial. Thanks for being a moron uncle Jay!

    • When is his fair hearing with this “selected jury” scheduled?

  • Is the Arcata PD and the DA office as incompetent as they look in this case?

    • Beautiful Country

      Yes. Well…APD certainly is! I have no side in this case and neither do I care about a person’s skin color or culture. What I do care about is justice and honesty and safety and the APD is absent on all these. Why do they refuse to arrest the young men who were obviously assaulting Zoellner?! Why did they hide from the swarm of protesters who shut down Safeway parking lot and basically kidnapped customers (refusing to let them pass and hold them captive)? Why don’t they do their job honestly and impartially? Is it all because they are afraid to be seen as “racist”?! Well- they are getting played by the race card crew. So is our mayor Susan Ornelas. I sure do agree that nobody should be treated poorly due to skin color but this bending over backwards to please a small, vocal segment of our community is wrong and embarassing. But more importantly it is unjust, unfair and discriminatory.

      • Well said. B.C.

      • Well Said!!

      • As a longtime resident of Arcata, I couldn’t agree more B.C.

      • Well said. They won’t even take the fingerprints of BU, scared they might find the truth?. Then APD were forced to take “sensitivity training” or something like that after the incident. Then, APD forced to hire some “investigator” for the case who is on the side of Lawson’s Mother! Forced to put out a 20 grand reward! Wonder why no information surfaced? That sure is a mystery…

        It’s not even the policemen/women’s fault either it is the fault of the chief and mayor and all powerful HSU

        They say they are still working on the case anyone with a brain knows that’s a lie they are just waiting for this to blow over

        Absolute travesty of justice. You may as well just put out a memo to NorCal saying “if you are black and in a group come to Arcata and do whatever crimes you want with no repercussions”

  • Makes sense to me Jay.

  • Veterans friend

    I said it then and repeat it now, short of a confession, there will be no conviction.

  • It’s well know that for many, many years Arcata has been a ‘sympathetic’ town where a lot of people live by their own rules and life style. A town that attracts those who are against the ‘establishment’. Even HSU is well know for it’s ‘earthy’, ‘Humboldt Honey’ type of students. I used to enjoy going to Arcata. Knowing this, the police department and city officials are aware of how to keep the peace with the city’s population. All of this has been working fine and it has been a peaceful town, until recently. The police have shown they are afraid to uphold laws and do their job. The city officials have closed their eyes hoping everything will go away and be ok when they open them. The HSU president and some staff members have been blatantly unprofessional in taking sides in this matter, and have encouraged students to act inappropriately. There were at least two major crimes committed that night. The stabbing and the beating of Zoellner. If the investigation is done right and honest, the right person will be charged for the murder. But…..the Arcata police chief is afraid to follow through with charging those who have already admitted to beating Zoellner. If this had been 3-4 White guys beating another White guy unconscious in Redwood Park, they would have been charged and facing trial. Due to the fact this involves several Black men, and the murder has not been solved, the chief is afraid to pursue charges against them. This, also, is a blatant disregard of following the law and the duties he swore to uphold. All of the past riots, burning of businesses, and destruction of towns have put a fear in cities to charge Blacks when it involves a White person. I hope the true murderer is found and charged, and that those who admitted to beating Zoellner are charged as well.

  • HSU is as much a scourge on Humboldt as is illicit commercial cannabis.

    Eliminate both and Humboldt would be a much nicer place.

  • God will you please shut it already!!! Are you trying to throw a trial by putting your version out all the time? He”s not in jail so why do you keep doing this?? Are you just figuring out how inept local law enforcement is?

    Why dont you ever answer to kyles previous violent acts? He deserved to get his ass kicked AND go to jail for choking that poor young woman out, she could have died. Arrest records are public info, as you must already know, and word around was that kyle smashed a bottle over someones head at a party the wknd before. Are we supposed to believe he decided to be mellow that nite???
    Are you part of the aryan nation in mckville or what???? Your need to keep putting these letter out makes me think more and more that kyle is very guilty of somethin. So keep em comin, maybe ill end up on his jury once he gets caught being violent on camera, its just a matter of time. You ought to read about the law, these letters will be used in court eventually, youre attempting to ruin the jury pool and its super obvious.

    • Ever since the beginning it obvious one of the friends in the ‘ club’ had an issue with the victim. If the LEOs werent pressured from half the community to lynch mob a quick easy to explain target, they could have easily seen there was feuding within the’ group’ of friends and their ‘club’ and violence ensued.
      Wrong place wrong time for the innocent kid.. any body else different story .. self defense is just as relevent in this situation. Jury worthy for sure for the group of friends.

    • would you tell josiahs mother to shut up? of course not, nobody should. shut up yourself, the author is family.

    • What previous violent acts has Zoellner committed? He never choked out a young women it happened to be an altercation with his sister and the sister lied to the cops saying he choked her out. In fact his sister was the one that left bite marks and scratches/hit marks on him. He never choked out his sister and the DA dismissed the charges anyways because they knew he didn’t choke her out. Secondly the whole bottle over the head incident never happened that was a lie fabricated by Elijah Chandler to make Kyle seem aggressive when it came out in testimony that he was never aggressive that night. I don’t know where you are getting your info but you need to get your shit straight before you go off spouting shit you know nothing about.

  • Political correctness among California liberals has far surpassed it’s original intent and become a quasi religion (Cult!) in which minorities are now granted special privileges and exceptions unavailable to those in the majority.
    Just imagine the bleeding heart Arcata lynch mob that would be after a gang of white guys belonging to a group called “White Men United” that brutally beat the daylights out of a single black guy half their size that a court of law could not determine to even be eligible for trial due to the numerous and glaring inconsistencies in their own testimony. Think about it…

    • Bribart parrot! Fake News!

    • Spot on Muggin! Spot on!

    • Exactly right. Now… Imagine Arcata 90% black… and the brothers united part of a white hate group… now imagine what the response of the black community would be. It would be to lynch/murder every one of the members of that hate group.

      The liberal white reaction of this community to this despicable racist incident is nothing short of complete COWARDICE and outright denial and lunacy! They have proven what is in their hearts and this show of submission will have consequences.

      I’m not here to condone murder but to let them off scot-free??? WTF. And then you are parading around demanding “Justice”??? You obviously do not even know the meaning of that word!

      Up to 15 black guys are kicking this super skinny weaking unconcious white guy in the head hard as they can and trying to kill him and you don’t have a problem with that???

      I am also amazed at how misinformed everyone is due to the cover up by HSU and APD. Inform yourselves people the information is out there on the internet just don’t expect the truth from any local newspaper, since they are part of the HSU cover up as well

      BU was a group of racists SANCTIONED by HSU, and they fear a lawsuit, not to mention they fear losing grant money from affirmative action quotas…

      There are obviously black racists on the comments section trolling that do not care about the facts only that the black guys get away with this and the white guy is blamed.

  • The Ostrich Hunter

    KZ has a history of violence that seems to be getting swept under the rug.


    • all sides testified kyle was polite and non threatening, and didnt initiate the fight. all sides testified kyle was beaten unconscious by numerous people.

    • You forget that anything from KZ’s past, with exception of convictions, cannot be used against him in testimony or evidence. If any witness states a fact that KZ did this in the past (fighting, etc.) while on the stand, it will be an immediate mistrial. Jurors, or a judge, cannot consider those things in KZ’s past when deliberating. I was on a jury in a rape case where a witness stated she knew of the defendant doing similar things he was being charged with. It was instantly declared a mistrial. We were dismissed and the whole process had to start over.

  • crazy case, wheres a modern columbo when you need him?

  • Are you stupid or what? Why don’t you let the police do their work? Your continued insistence that people are lying when you were not there is speculation. The investigation is continuing. Your lack of expression of sorrow that a man was killed is disgusting. The statue of limitations on assault charges has not expired. Let the police do their work. If Kyle is innocent, then you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. Your continued letters aren’t helping the situation. Right now, I don’t know about Kyle as it remains to be discovered what he did or did not do that night, but you disgust me. A young man, a college student just starting his life is dead. All you can do is whine about your nephew who was NOT remanded to trial after a preliminary hearing.

  • If they haven’t fingerprinted all parties involved in or even around the altercation to try to get a match to the print on the murder weapon it is just pure incompetence on the police departments behalf. As far as objections to this letter because it’s could ruin the jury pool, haven’t heard that objection about any other publicity involved in this case. Which there hasn’t been any shortage of.

    • Right on Mike! This is what the Uncle is asking, he has a right to ask the question why the aggressors weren’t all finger printed. He brings up reasonable questions, questions I’ve had all along. A jury won’t decide the case based on any of the pre-trial publicity, it’s obvious many of those spouting off have never served on a high profile case. During the voir dire the attorneys will flat out ask the prospective juror if they can decide the case fairly and disregard any information not presented within the courtroom during the course of the trial.

      BTW, “Stop It” is an idiot, seriously…

  • Why are people talking about a jury and a trial? There was so little evidence against Zoellner that the judge dismissed the charges at the preliminary hearing. That rarely happens, because the standard at the preliminary hearing is quite low. For him to go to trial, there would have to be convincing new evidence presented at another preliminary hearing.

  • I have been pointing out my suspicions over a Brothers United rivalry as the root of this murder and over the described events’ mismatch (esp. in Chandler’s tale) in the media. When the dismissal of the BU member (though I have heard there were 2 dismissed) and the first report of the testimony in the preliminary hearing, I have only become more suspicious. The overwrought demonstration histrionics, the strange looks and tone Chandler speaks with at the various Lawsonpalooza proceedings, and the patterns of his speech do not seem sincere.

    In nearly every comment thread on another site, as well, there has been a multi-nicknamed, angry, race-baiting hate monger whose timing was oddly “studentish”. This personage generally only appeared when BU questions were raised or the possibility of a ‘mis-stabbing’ aimed at KZ but piercing Josiah was discussed. Of course, there is definitely a contingency of deeply racist people who have chimed in on all of it, helping no one. Another issue, there…

    It has seemed to me, from the beginning, that the contraindications for KZ’s being the murderer are stronger than the opposite. This gives rise to the question, “Then who?” And the answer is potentially ugly, sad and perhaps, if pursued, also unprovable, leaving the victim dead, unavenged and betrayed not just by his own bad judgment but by whomever has aided the perpetrator through silence or complicity.

    Hearteningly, the BU members who testified made it clear they would not lie and paint KZ as a wild man, angry and rude, nor even confrontational. There is no calculus under which this serves their purposes for some unified narrative except that it is true and they could not bring themselves to speak otherwise. In almost every other respect, their various bits of testimony collide and mismatch. I would be willing to bet one person spoke the best truth they were aware of, and the rest drifted off of that based on their own flawed perceptions and not just biases, but agendas.

    I am overseas at the moment, but I am not looking forward to the atmosphere in Arcata when I come home on my next leave. It’s going to be right around the time the Fall semester starts up again. Ugh.

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