Steven Richard Gilbert Held in Slaying of Thomas Robert Marston in Laguna Niguel

Steven Richard Gilbert Held in Slaying of Thomas Robert Marston in Laguna NiguelEXPAND
Nick Bockelman/OC Weekly

One Laguna Niguel man in his 50s has died and a second is in custody for alleged murder—possibly by fatally stabbing the first man.

Orange County sheriff's deputies were sent just before 10 p.m. Sunday to a residence in the 29500 block of Palo Drive in Laguna Niguel because of an unconscious man there, explains sheriff's Lt. Mark Stichter.

Thomas Robert Marston was found lying in the home, and the 53-year-old Laguna Niguel resident appeared to be in full cardiac arrest when Orange County Fire Authority paramedics took him to the hospital.

Martson was later pronounced dead at Mission Hospital, according to the county coroner.

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Deputies at the scene were told Steven Richard Gilbert could be a suspect in the slaying, but he was not present at the time officers were there, Stichter says.

This morning, the 59-year-old Laguna Niguel resident was found driving in Mission Viejo, where he was stopped and detained without incident, Stichter says.

"Based on the preliminary investigation, it appears Steven and Thomas were involved in an argument," the sheriff's spokesman says. "During the argument, Thomas sustained what appears to be a stab wound; however, the Orange County Coroner Division will determine the manner and cause of death following completion of their investigation.

"Investigators have not determined a motive for the homicide."

Gilbert was being held on a murder rap and $1 million bail at Orange County Jail. 

He has a court hearing scheduled on Tuesday.

Anyone with information that can help homicide investigators is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714.647.7000 or 714.647.7044.

Anonymous tips may also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.847.6227.


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