In December 2001, Irvine's Tommy Lee McGuire savagely murdered Matthew Large, a onetime Newport Harbor High School star wrestler turned mixed martial arts competitor, and buried his corpse at Stinky Beach in Humboldt County.
Five years later, an Orange County jury agreed with homicide prosecutor Matt Murphy that McGuire was guilty of first degree murder and, in 2006, Superior Court Judge Frank F. Fasel sentenced him to a term of 25 years to life in prison.
During the last six years McGuire has resided in various California prisons and refuses to accept his fate because, he insists, his trial was tainted.
McGuire's filed complaints with a California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court, but neither body was impressed with his cries.
The killer then turned his focus to federal judges and claimed that he was convicted by insufficient evidence of premeditation, Huntington Beach Police Department doctored evidence and a lousy defense lawyer who should have fought the introduction of incriminating statements by his girlfriend, HoneyLove Davis.
But this month, U.S. District Court Judge J. Spencer Letts dismissed McGuire's demand to reopen the case by opining that the conviction was righteous.
According to court records, McGuire murdered Large because he believed the marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy dealer was going to kill his son, who owed more than $7,000 in unpaid drug bills.
That McGuire took a meat cleaver to visit Large doesn't help his claim of no premeditation.
Police recovered from McGuire's Irvine apartment the bloody murder weapon with the 22-year-old victim's brain matter on the blade.
Upshot: McGuire, 69, will continue to serve his punishment inside the California State Institution for Men at Chino in San Bernardino County.
R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. Corporate crooks won’t take his calls. Murderous gangsters mad-dogged him in court. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Pusillanimous cops have left hostile messages using fake names. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. And a frantic state legislator literally caught sleeping with lobbyists sprinted down state capital hallways to evade his questions in Sacramento. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club and been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists.