(Woodland, CA) – May 14, 2018 - District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that a Yolo County jury found 35-year-old Guatemalan man, Heder Migoya, guilty of 2nd Degree Murder with an enhancement for the use of a knife against victim, Dustin Dougherty.
In May 2018 a jury heard two weeks of evidence. The evidence showed that on early morning of September 29, 2017 the defendant snuck into his estranged wife, Lori Sievers’ home just after midnight. Sievers and the defendant had a son together. The defendant crept through Ms. Sievers’ dark home and into her bedroom where she was sleeping next to her new boyfriend Dustin Dougherty. Ms. Sievers was woken up out of a deep sleep to the defendant in her bedroom holding their 3-year-old son. Ms. Sievers’ immediately started yelling at the defendant to get out and that he had no permission to be in her home. The defendant then pretended to leave by shutting the bedroom door. Feeling safe, Ms. Sievers got out of bed and turned the light on so that she could get her son. However, when Ms. Sievers turned on the light she realized that the defendant was still lurking in the room with his hat pulled down partially covering his face. Ms. Sievers quickly turned the light back off and grabbed her son from the defendant as she continued to yell at the defendant to get out of her home. As Ms. Sievers went to take her son out to the living room she immediately heard a punching noise. She ran back in to find the defendant kneeling over Mr. Dougherty and she tried to pull him off. Mr. Dougherty never had a chance as the defendant pounced on him as he lay sleeping in his bed. The defendant eventually fled dropping a knife on the floor before he left. It was not until the defendant left that Ms. Sievers saw the true gravity of the attack. Mr. Dougherty died on scene from multiple stab wounds including the fatal one which went through Mr. Dougherty’s rib cage and punctured his heart.
The jury also heard evidence of several prior incidents of domestic violence between the defendant and Ms. Sievers. Ms. Sievers had been the victim of domestic violence for many years, including verbal, mental, emotion, sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the defendant. Ms. Sievers was finally able to escape that abusive relationship in October of 2016 and had come to live in Davis with her 3-year-old son, to a place that she called her safe house.
Amanda Zambor prosecuted the case. Zambor stated “It was so clear from talking with each of Dusty’s family members and friends just how special Dusty was as a person and what a hole the defendant has left by taking his life. You could feel the outpouring of love and emotion which was a direct result of the impact that Dusty made on everyone around him. Although I never got to meet Dusty I feel like I know him through the many stories that have been shared with me since the inception of the case. Dusty was truly a gentle soul who just wanted farm, love, and be with his family, friends, and his best friend, Camper, his beloved dog.”
The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office Victim’s Services Division was with the Dougherty family throughout the entirety of the case. In addition, this case could not have been proved without the dedicated and tireless efforts of District Attorney Investigator Kevin Skaife and the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office.
District Attorney Jeff Reisig has made victim’s rights a centerpiece of the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office. “This case is a classic example of the deadly nature of domestic violence,” said Reisig. “Here we saw how abusers not only inflict vicious violence on their partners, girlfriends and spouses, but also on anyone who gets in their way.”
Yolo County Superior Court Judge Timothy Fall presided over the trial. Judge Fall is scheduled to sentence the defendant on June 12, 2018 at 9:00 am in Department 11. The defendant faces a sentence of up to 16 years-to-life in state prison.