Sgt. Owen’s killer sentenced to life without parole

Slain Sgt. Steve Owen
Slain Sgt. Steve Owen

The Lancaster man who pleaded guilty last month to the 2016 murder of Sgt. Steven Owen was sentenced to life without parole on Monday.  

Trenton Lovell, 31, appeared at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on Monday and was given his sentence following his guilty plea to the following counts: one count of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of first-degree burglary, person present, and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. Prosecutors had also added two counts each of first-degree residential robbery and false imprisonment by violence, to which Lovell also pleaded guilty. 

The execution-style killing involved Lovell shooting Owen multiple times after the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sergeant responded to a report of a burglary on the 3200 block of West Avenue J-7 on Oct. 5, 2016.   

“Sgt. Owen sacrificed his life to protect the community he served,” said District Attorney George Gascón last month. “This plea will not bring Sgt. Owen back but will hopefully provide some small measure of peace to his family.”  

Lovell confessed that, after having murdered Owen, he then jumped into Owen’s patrol vehicle and crashed into the vehicle of another deputy who had just arrived on the scene to provide Owen with backup.    

Shortly before he was arrested, Lovell also fled the collision site, ran into a nearby home and held the residents inside at knifepoint while he robbed them.   

Lovell admitted to the special circumstance allegation of murder of a peace officer and special allegations of using a firearm to murder Owen, using a patrol car as a deadly and dangerous weapon during the attempted murder of a second peace officer on the scene, using a knife in a robbery and false imprisonment after he fled from the scene of the murder. 

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