Mack Town murder suspect admits to fist fight with slain HSU student

Paul Mann
Mad River Union

EUREKA – Kyle Zoellner, the McKinleyville man accused of murdering a Humboldt State University student April 15 in Arcata, admitted to detectives that "he was involved in a physical fight with the victim," David Josiah Lawson.

Kyle Zoellner

The probable-cause notes submitted to the court by Arcata Police Detective Sgt. Todd Dokweiler state that Zoellner took part in the fight that allegedly led to the sophomore student’s death.

Dokweiler also recorded, “Numerous witnesses had detained Zoellner and indicated he had stabbed the victim.”

Zoellner, 23, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday to stabbing Lawson to death with a knife. The student was 19 and would have been 20 next month.

One of Lawson’s friends and schoolmates, Elijah Chandler, said at a prayer service early in the week that he struggled repeatedly to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation at the scene at 1120 Spear Ave. in Arcata, but Lawson was pronounced dead at Mad River Community Hospital the day before Easter.


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