Esqueda accepts plea bargain

The Lassen County District Attorney’s Office and Juan Ruiz Esqueda, the 62 year-old Susanville man who allegedly struck and killed 16-year-old Kolby Trumbull on Johnstonville Road on Oct. 11, 2017, agreed to a plea bargain Wednesday, June 27.

According to the deal, Esqueda pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended or revoked license and pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge.

As part of the plea bargain, the district attorney’s office dismissed a charge of hit and run with permanent injury and defense attorney Autumn Paine agreed to withdraw a motion she filed seeking to recuse the district attorney’s office in the case.

As part of the bargain, Esqueda faces a maximum penalty of 365 days in jail, and a maximum penalty
of six months on the suspended license charge to be served concurrently with the misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge. Manslaughter is the killing of a human being without malice.

Esqueda also will be assessed the appropriate fines and fees when he is sentenced at 1 p.m. Aug. 20 in Lassen County Superior Court Department 3. He will surrender himself into custody on that date as well.

Candace Beason, a visiting Lassen County Superior Court judge, asked deputy district attorney Stephanie Skeen why the people were making the plea bargain at this time.

Beason had already granted a change of venue motion from the defense due to pretrial publicity in the case, and a two-week trial had been scheduled to
begin July 9 in Placer County.

Skeen said the district attorney’s office had discussed the possible disposition of the case with Trumbull’s family, and they wanted closure since this case has gone for nearly two years. She said this agreement would allow them to move on.

Beason also noted there was no finding of fault (that Esqueda caused Trumbull’s death) at the preliminary hearing and a felony vehicular manslaughter charge was dismissed at that time.

Despite that lack of finding at the preliminary hearing, the defense agreed to plead no contest to that charge.

9 thoughts on “Esqueda accepts plea bargain

  • Disgusting. The judicial system has clearly failed here.

  • Justice was not near served and the district attorneys office shame on all of you. Everyone of you in that office if this was your child you would not stand for this kind of slap on the ✋

  • Total Bullshit he is so guilty, why no mention of driving under the influence. He took an innocent child’s life!! Lassen County you failed here miserably!! If this was your child you would want justice not a slap on the wrist!!

  • Sad to see no justice.. anyone can run over anyone nowadays “without malice” & it would be okay in the court.

  • That is not justice, for the family that lost a son what kind of a place are you running Lassen county sombody caught with drugs gets 5 yrs in prison but you hit and kill an innocent kid and boom slap on the wrist . smh

  • Standard Operating Procedure, for a group of individuals perpetuating some sort of selfish hoax upon the citizens of the county. This is clearly a sign of “being over ones head” when it comes to handling a day to day job on behalf of the people. Think of how the judge (traveling or not) must have felt, during the first round, explaining to the court and family ; “I find no evidence of death here.” The utter failure of “being there” for the people is impressive when it comes to the Dysfunctional Adults office. Now the poor family gets to watch a slap on the wrist and a slap to their face… just to get closure, for having to bury their son… shame….

  • I think perhaps, to clarify. it was a hit and run, but was it wanton desire to hit and run/ Although i don’t know all the full details, but apparently the deceased was on a skateboard or something on a road? I am not for or against anything here. but it seems it was an accident where a pedestrian (deceased), was illegally skateboarding on a road? And secondly, what does everybody think the correct “punishment” would be?

    • No actually he was walking on the side of the road when this guy hits him with his truck and then when he turns his truck around to RUN from the scene of an accident he runs over this child a SECOND time. That man driving on a suspended license with a prior DUI. He had no business being on the road and he should rot in prison.

  • I can’t believe you’ve been so ignorant Lassen County. You’re all disgusting for not thinking through this as clearly as possible.

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