LANCASTER – A parolee accused of shooting a Lancaster sheriff’s sergeant who was responding to a burglary call and then firing four additional shots into the veteran lawman once he was down was charged Friday with capital murder.
Trenton Trevon Lovell, 27, of Lancaster, appeared in court in connection with Wednesday’s execution-style killing of Sgt. Steve Owen, but his arraignment was postponed until Nov. 14.
The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegations of murder of a peace officer in the performance of his duties and murder for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest.
Prosecutors will determine later whether to seek the death penalty against Lovell, who is being held without bail.
Lovell is also charged with one count each of attempted murder involving another sheriff’s deputy and possession of a firearm by a felon, along with two counts each of first-degree residential robbery and false imprisonment by violence — the latter charge includes a knife use allegation.
The attempted murder charge includes an allegation that he used a patrol car as a deadly and dangerous weapon against a second sheriff’s employee who arrived at the scene.
The criminal complaint also alleges that Lovell was on parole at the time of the crime and that he had been convicted of robbery as a juvenile in 2006 and again as an adult in 2009, according to Deputy District Attorney Michael Blake.
Owen, 53, was shot to death as he responded to a young mother’s 911 call reporting a burglary at her apartment building in the 3200 block of West Avenue J-7.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell alleged Thursday that Lovell — whose name the sheriff refused to utter — shot Owen behind a residence after being confronted by the sergeant, who radioed that he had the suspect at gunpoint before he was shot.
“Sergeant Owen approached the suspect in response to a burglary call,” McDonnell said. “The suspect immediately shot Sergeant Owen. He then stood over and executed Sergeant Owen by firing four additional rounds into his body. He then unsuccessfully searched the body for the sergeant’s weapon with the intent to use it to murder the first responding deputy.”
The first responding deputy fired numerous times at Lovell, who had pointed his weapon at him, striking the suspect once in the shoulder, the sheriff said.
Lovell allegedly jumped into the sergeant’s patrol vehicle while a second deputy arrived at the scene, then rammed the deputy’s vehicle with Owen’s patrol car.
“Not only did the suspect want to kill our deputies, he held two teenagers hostage in a neighboring house until they were rescued by the heroic efforts of our Special Enforcement Bureau and our Lancaster Station personnel,” McDonnell said.
The two teens were held at knifepoint, according to prosecutors.
The gunman continued to try to escape and attempted to climb over a wall, but he was confronted by deputies and taken into custody, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez, who added that a firearm was recovered at the scene.
Owen’s wife, who is a sheriff’s Arson-Explosives detective, made it to the hospital before her husband died, according to sheriff’s Executive Officer Neal Tyler. One of Owen’s adult sons and his stepdaughter, as well his mother, also were at his bedside, Tyler said.
Owens was a 29-year department veteran who had worked in the Antelope Valley for years and was known for his community involvement, especially with area youths. He was promoted to sergeant five years ago.
Owen received a Meritorious Conduct Medal in 2014, along with five of his Lancaster Station colleagues, for their roles in a pursuit and carjacking that ended with the capture of the armed suspect and the motorist’s rescue.
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris announced Friday that he will ask the city council to rename Lancaster Community Park as Sergeant Steve Owen Community Park.
“He deserves to always be remembered by the residents of the city of Lancaster and the Antelope Valley,” the mayor said. “Renaming our community park after a true hero is one small step in that direction. Steve was killed in the line of duty protecting a community in which he was deeply embedded. Sergeant Steve Owen was one of the best-known deputies throughout the entire Antelope Valley region.”
Owen’s alleged killer has been arrested 11 times, first as a juvenile on suspicion of selling marijuana, and was jailed or imprisoned twice, according to the sheriff.
McDonnell said he believed the death penalty would be an appropriate sentence if Lovell is convicted of murdering Owen.
Previous related stories:
Suspect executed sergeant after wounding him, sheriff says
Sheriff’s sergeant slain in Lancaster
11 comments for "Parolee charged with murdering Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sergeant"
The worthless POS who shot Sgt Owen will be on lock down in solitary confinement for 23.5 hours out of every 24 hour day. I’m sure the worthless POS will have LOTS of time on his hands now to reflect on the massive mistake he made on October 5th 2016. I hope his solitary confinement is slowly driving him insane. Countless people’s lives were ruined by this worthless waste of space and there are many many more just like him out on these streets. Show respect for our law enforcers, the men and women who put their lives on the line every single day. They do a job that many of us don’t have the guts to do and that’s a fact. RIP Sgt Steve Owen. I’m sorry that your life was stolen from you by some dreg. Condolences to your family.
James Sosa says
Hope Trenton Trevon Lovell gets what he has coming in jail!
Kimberley Ward says
Black lives matter, no, police lives matter because they protect us. And as you can see, this black trash had no mercy and probably never worked a day in his life. White trash, black trash, it’s all the same, they don’t respect anyone. Too bad we can’t do an old style stoning because I want to take out my aggressions. I’m sick of seeing good people being killed by scum like this. I wish peace for Owen’s family.
There are people who appear human but are not.This garbage is one of them.
Cops lives matter says
Straight to death row have a great time in hell
My deepest condolences go out to Sgt Steve Owens Family. My daughter lives just around the corner where this happened, my wife I were in Lancaster in August and September. It is horrifying what has happened
Justice will be served in the end.
Most media outlets keep saying he is “from Lancaster” but he’s not. He’s from Los Angeles and his facebook lists his school as Susan Dorsey Miller High…again, that’s in L.A.
He was couch-surfing at his sister’s house after his Mom threw him out of her house down in Los Angeles. She threw him out after he robbed a security guard at USC, then he came out here.
does it matter where the hell he’s from?
I think hanging him in public would be a good death penalty as soon as he is convicted. No appeals. As it stands right now, his appeal process will probably last 30 yrs. or more. He’ll get 3 meals a day off of us tax payer’s money in the meantime and all the wasted court appearances still costing us money. We should not waste our time with a murderer, mostly a cop killer.
I agree. He knows he will have at least 22yrs to live after living 27yrs as an idiot. While Mr Owen lived a life as a respectable man he has no more yrs to live. It makes no sense.