Heder Migoya Sentenced to 16 Years to Life for 2nd Degree Murder with an Enhancement for the Use of a Knife for Murdering Dustin Dougherty

Press Release

(Woodland, CA) – June 13, 2018 - District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that on June 11, 2018, Yolo County Superior Court Judge Timothy Fall sentenced 35-year-old Guatemalan man Heder Migoya, to 15 years-to-life in state prison with an additional one year after being found 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 the defendant had a long history of domestic violence against his estranged wife Lori Sievers prior to her filing for divorce and escaping the relationship in October 2016. Since then Ms. Sievers had started to rebuild her life with their son on her own. Just prior to this murder the defendant had taken their son on a two-week trip down to Southern California to visit family. However, the defendant returned to Ms. Siever’s residence unannounced in the middle of the night. The defendant arrived at Ms. Sievers home after midnight on September 29, 2016. Neither Ms. Sievers nor Mr. Dougherty woke when the defendant initially arrived. The defendant did not knock nor did he announce his presence. The defendant instead snuck quietly into the home without waking Ms. Sievers or Mr. Dougherty and then crept to Ms. Sievers’ room holding their son in his arms. The defendant then entered Ms. Sievers’ room without knocking. Ms. Sievers woke up and started yelling at the defendant to get out of her room.

Ms. Sievers heard her bedroom door close so she got up and went over to turn on the light thinking that the defendant had left the room and that she was safe. As Ms. Sievers turned on the light she realized that the defendant was still in the room and holding her son so she quickly turned off the light. Ms. Sievers grabbed their son and tried to move him into the front room while still keeping him calm. Almost immediately Ms. Sievers heard what she described a punching sound and ran back into the room. There she found the defendant kneeling over Mr. Dougherty on the bed. She tried to pull the defendant 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 the murder weapon, a 6-inch knife, on the floor. 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 wound which went through Mr. Dougherty’s rib cage and punctured his heart.

At the sentencing hearing Mr. Dougherty’s family and friends, as well as Ms. Sievers, read victim impact statements to Judge Fall. These statements reflected the amount of damage that the defendant left in his wake after committing such a heinous crime and spoke to who Mr. Dougherty was during his life. Dustin Dougherty was a beloved son, brother, uncle and friend.

Deputy District Attorney Amanda Zambor stated “Domestic violence is a deadly crime and has vast ramifications throughout the community as evidenced by this case. Hopefully the verdict and sentencing of the defendant has brought some sense of justice for Mr. Dougherty’s family and friends. Obviously Mr. Dougherty cannot be replaced but at least his murderer is being held accountable for his vicious crimes.”

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