[Audio] Law professor analyzes Arcata stabbing developments; Humboldt’s last week of news

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week (9:44): A law professor recently analyzed potential charging developments in the tragic stabbing death of 19-year-old HSU student David Josiah Lawson. North Coast Journal Editor Thadeus Greenson had the story.

Lawson lost his life at a house party in Arcata on April 15. With an estimated 100 party attendees there were reportedly a number of altercations that occurred that night possibly over a missing cell phone.

The family of 23-year-old McKinleyville resident Kyle Zoellner, the former murder suspect who saw charges dropped due to a lack of evidence, has been pushing for assault charges against other party attendees. They believe Zoellner was beaten unconscious by a number of young men before Lawson was stabbed.

“He explained that none of these things can really be seen in a vacuum,” said Greeson who interviewed California Hastings College of Law professor David Levine about the impacts additional assault charges may have on obtaining justice for Josiah. “Any decision that prosecutors or police make regarding other lesser offenses — assault charges and stuff like that — related to people that were there that night, could impact ultimately their ability to successfully charge prosecute whoever actually killed Josiah Lawson…”

In the podcast, Greenson discusses Levine’s comments on the two main approaches the Arcata Police Department and District Attorney’s Office could take. He also discusses the Zoellner family’s response to his article and a misconception some had earlier about the case.

A lot is still unknown. Those involved so far have not been able to agree on whether or not racism played a role in Lawson’s death. They also can’t agree on how these fights started, when and why mace was used, the words that were exchanged, whether or not someone was using the N-word, whether or not Kyle had a knife, and whether or not Zoellner was even conscious at the time of the stabbing.

The story begins at 9:44.

Also covered

Crime updates, court dates for big cases, HACHR keeps working to reduce overdose deaths, Humboldt’s polluted beach problem, a scary attempted exorcism, better teeth, Humboldt’s new famous baby zebra, a tribute to how lucky we are, poll results, and much more.



  • Sharpen your pencil

    Pressing charges on the folks that knowingly attacked Kyle would be a bad thing……? WHY? Because he isn’t black, and charging people with assault who admitted to assaulting Kyle would be justified? I know charging the black kids that beat the shit out of the white kid doesn’t exactly fit into the BLM movement. However allowing thugs to wonder our community and beat the crap out of anyone who asks or accuses them about a missing or stolen phone isn’t helping anyone. Neither is pretending like any one person of any color is of more importance than another… This whole race baiting shit is getting out of hand around the Josiah incident. There is one indisputable fact, there were roughly 100 party goers and miraculously no one saw a damn thing! Makes me wonder if Josiah’s “friend” isn’t the one responsible, it was probably over a girl!

    • Its dangerous to charge because once the ” murderer” is charged with ” assault” in the case its over. No being tried twice for the same crime. Standard practice.

      • But its not the same crime, thats two separate charges. This is straight up bs. Josiah willingly started a fight and died hes all of a sudden a saint who can do no wrong. If they filed assault charges theyd get the finger prints of the murderer because the person that killed josiah meant to stab kyle.

      • If someone was tried for assault in this matter, they could still be tried for murder especially since the victims are different. However, more accurately, it makes it look as if the prosecution doesn’t know whats going on when they try diff people or same person for different charges, that’s the danger. Assault is a different crime than murder so it’s not double jeopardy, but would really screw it up…so let’s just get it right the first time…

  • Perhaps you couldve wish fathers day to everyone on a different story… maybe a story where a father HASNT lost a son… just a thought. In case you didnt consider that.. obviously.

    • Well it’s the first thing I clicked on so whatever, you can wish someone happy Father’s Day even if they lost a loved one. Some jxxk will always try to make you seem like and asshole no matter what you write. I figured I would post a positive note sense this always turns into a a racially charged rant about who is in the right, race, blah blah, hope every one has a great day and loves each other. If you really think wishing everyone a happy fathers day is ment as a mean thing seek help.

      • All i said was perhaps on a different story it wouldve been more appropriate . I have a son, and it would suck to lose him from the stupidity of another. Then to be reminded of that loss just because its fathers day and because an thoughtful person, like you, says happy fathers day on an article about a kid getting stabbed to death. I said nothing of race and i didnt personally attack you. Its pretty much a common sense issue Guest. And just remember, only YOU can make YOU look like an asshole and youve done a fine job at that.

        To the family of David Lawson. I hope that justice for this bright young man can be found and served. The road ahead will be a hard one indeed. Stay strong and vigilant for the memory of your son.
        I hope you can find peace.

    • All lives matter

      That’s what I have thought since we found out the finger prints did not match.

  • Kim will you please just delete my happy father days comment, apparently some people find it offensive that was never my intention. Thanks

  • Okay fine, happy Sunday everyone.

  • a criminal thug racist gang nearly beat a young man to death.regardless of other criminal activitiies they should be charged. period.

  • Why can’t separate charges be brought? I thought Justice was (supposed to be) blind.

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