The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case against a murderer who sawed a V-shape wound into his girlfriend’s neck before killing her and her mother in their Redondo Beach apartment in 2012.
Jonathan Scott Chacon is serving two consecutive life prison terms without the possibility of parole for the Feb. 28, 2012, killings of his girlfriend, 19-year-old Courtney Bergman, and her 59-year-old mother, Vicki Bergman.
Chacon was found guilty last year of two counts of first-degree murder. Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, along with a knife-use allegation.
Prosecutors suggested he killed the victims because he was jealous of his girlfriend’s contacts with another man.
But Chacon insisted the killings were in self-defense, alleging that his girlfriend attacked him with a knife shortly after they had sex in the apartment, and that her mother came out of her room during that time.
In an Aug. 29 ruling upholding Chacon’s conviction, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s findings that he committed the murders with premeditation and deliberation.
“A jury could reasonably infer planning to kill Courtney and her mother. There is adequate evidence of defendant’s physical abuse of, and threats of physical violence against, Courtney; Courtney’s fear for her life; and defendant’s obsession to kill,” the justices’ 20-page ruling says.
The appellate court panel found that text messages on Chacon’s phone and his conversations with his mother and a friend “are evidence that defendant was infatuated with the idea of killing someone.”
“Defendant had the word `death’ inscribed on his arm `wife a knife or something’; personally branded the word `distraught’ on his chest; stated in text messages that he wanted to kill someone and admitted the rage inside him made him violent; (and) told his mother on numerous occasions that he wanted to kill someone,” the justices wrote.
He had also expressed his desire to a friend to kill after they watched a movie about a killer, according to the ruling.
“The manner of killing further supports a finding of premeditation and deliberation,” the justices found. “Both victims suffered a large number of knife wounds and bruises, and they were both killed with a serrated knife — defendant using it to saw into Vicki’s neck, and creating a V-shape wound on Courtney’s neck. There is evidence that defendant pinned down and `taunted’ Vicki as he killed her, and the injuries suffered by both victims reflect a defensive struggle.”
The justices also noted that Chacon did not call the police after the killings, but fled to Mexico the following day, where he was arrested.
–City News Service
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