Man accused of killing LASD sergeant ordered to stand trial for murder

Slain Sgt. Steve Owen
Slain Sgt. Steve Owen

After a four-day preliminary hearing to ascertain whether there was enough evidence for a parolee to stand trial for the murder of Sheriff’s Sgt. Steven Owen, Trenton Trevon Lovell was held to answer Thursday on all charges filed against him.

Lovell’s prelim began Monday at the Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse in Lancaster and wrapped up Thursday with a decision that he will stand trial for murder.

“He was held to answer on all charges today,” said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Lovell, now 28, is scheduled to be arraigned on a charge of murder and other charges on Aug. 4, Santiago said.

Lovell faces one count of murder with the special circumstance allegations of murder for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest and murder of a peace officer.

He is also charged with one count each of attempted murder with an allegation that he used a patrol car as a deadly and dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon with priors, and two counts each of first-degree residential robbery and false imprisonment by violence, with a knife use allegation, according to the criminal complaint filed by prosecutors.

During a preliminary hearing, prosecutors present evidence in the case, and the defense can respond, after which the judge decides if the case should go to trial.

Lovell is accused of shooting Owen, 53, multiple times on Oct. 5, 2016, shortly after the deputy arrived at the 3200 block of West Avenue J-7 responding to a residential burglary call.

The suspect allegedly then jumped into the sergeant’s patrol vehicle while a second deputy arrived at the scene, prosecutors said.

The defendant is charged with ramming the second deputy’s vehicle with Owen’s patrol car. Lovell then allegedly fled into a nearby residence where he held two victims at knifepoint, prosecutors added. Deputies arrested the defendant soon after.

Lovell is being held without bail.

If convicted as charged, the defendant faces the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. A decision on whether to seek capital punishment will be made at a later date.

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