Jared Petrovich and Garrett Aguilar, two of six former Theo Lacy Jail inmates charged in the Oct. 6, 2006 beating death of John Chamberlain, a Rancho Santa Margarita software engineer facing trial for possessing child pornography, were sentenced to 15 years to life in prison today. The alleged shot-caller of the Woods, the jailhouse gang for white inmates, at Theo Lacy's F-Barracks, a low-security housing dormitory, Petrovich, who was profiled in an April 2008 OC Weekly cover story, claims he was told of Chamberlain's status as a child molester by deputies.
He admitted spreading word to other inmates that the victim was
eligible for assault but denied having taken part in the attack, in
which dozens of inmates including many who were never identified or
charged ruthlessly punched, kicked, and stomped Chamberlain to death. During last year's trial, several witnesses alleged they saw Aguilar lead Chamberlain to the area of the barracks and repeatedly punch and stomp the victim; one of the witnesses described Aguilar's behavior as “ruthless.”
In Petrovich's sentencing hearing today, Judge James A. Stotler told Petrovich that he bears the same responsibility for Chamberlain's death as those who directly attacked him. “One who lights the fuste can't escape culpability when the bomb goes off,” Stotler said. “And in essence, Jared, that's what you did here. You lit the fuse and from a distance watched the bomb go off.”
Keith Davidson, Petrovich's defense attorney, said his client will be eligible for parole 15 years after the incident took place, which would be on Oct. 5, 2021. Of the six inmates convicted of second degree murder last October, two
more–Stephen Carlstrom and Raul Villafana–have yet to be sentenced
because their attorneys were sick today.