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Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

J Street death remains under investigation

Kevin Gerard Seery, 42, died of asphyxiation in his College Square apartment at 945 J St. on Oct. 1. Davis police arrested James Elron Mings, 36, of Davis, on suspicion of murder. He is being held without bail at the Yolo County Jail.

“Upon arrival, officers found [Seery] deceased on his bedroom floor,” stated the Davis police press release. “Due to observations made at the scene, officers began to investigate the case as a homicide.”

According to Davis police detectives, it is believed that Mings used his hands to strangle and kill the victim. The investigation of this case is still ongoing.

“Essentially, there’s nothing new on it,” said Lt. Paul Doroshov of the Davis Police Department.

Doroshov said the Davis police believe they have the only suspect in custody responsible for the incident.

“[Mings] has already been arraigned,” Doroshov said. “We don’t know how long it’ll be before the new court date, which is usually the preliminary hearing.”

Mings has pleaded not guilty to the homicide in the recent arraignment. He is being represented by Yolo County public defender, Daniel Hutchinson. Hutchinson declined to give a comment on the pending case.

According to Mings’s blog, he is a poet, author and a relationship columnist for Examiner.com. He also worked at the Davis Food Co-Op as a cashier.

“[I am] doing and supporting something I have always believed in, as a Cashier, and getting my Life back on track for the first time in well over 2 years!” said Mings in his blog.

This is the first murder in Davis since 2004. The last murder, a shooting, occurred on Cowell Blvd. The suspect in that case pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and first-degree robbery.

Doroshov said in this case, Seery and Mings knew each other beforehand, making this homicide a nonrandom incident, unlike the previous case.

“The investigation is still open so we are not releasing the motive [for the murder] right now because we don’t want danger on the integrity of the court case,” Doroshov said. “We’re not releasing at this point because once this case goes to the District Attorney’s office for a prosecution, we don’t release anything new until it is clear with the District Attorney.”

Davis is not known for its high crime rate, although there are fluctuations at times, according to Doroshov.

“Our violent crime rate is picking up slightly,” Doroshov said. “But we don’t have those underlying issues that are in most cities.”

According to Doroshov, violent crimes sometimes will have a sudden increase for about two years and then sometimes there are none for four to six years.

“It happens, but doesn’t happen often,” Doroshov said.

CLAIRE TAN can be reached at city@theaggie.org.


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