A 56-year-old Dillon Beach man was booked on suspicion of murder Thursday for the shooting death of his housemate's 19-year-old lover.
Ken Patrick Neville was arrested after extended questioning by Marin County sheriff's investigators. He is being held without bail.
The name of the victim was not released while authorities tried to track down his family members. The victim was shot once in the chest during a domestic disturbance at a trailer at the Lawson's Landing campground, said sheriff's Lt. Jamie Scardina.
The victim's lover, 53, was in the trailer at the time but apparently did not witness the shooting, Scardina said. His name was not released.
The investigation began at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday when authorities received a 911 call about an argument at the trailer, which is at 137 Marine View Drive, lot J1. On the way there, deputies received information that the man was shot by one of the occupants.
Marin County firefighters pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
Sheriff's detectives took Neville and the other housemate in for questioning and booked Neville on murder allegations Thursday afternoon.
Campground co-owner Carl Vogler said Neville and the 53-year-old housemate began renting the space for their trailer last June. The 19-year-old man moved in with them later.
"At first we were treating him as a guest, and soon at the gate he made clear he was more than that," Vogler said.
Locals said the trailer was the site of numerous domestic disturbances and that sheriff's deputies had been called to quell them. In the past month or so, Neville asked the sheriff's department to advise the 19-year-old man not to come back to the trailer, but it was unclear whether he obtained a restraining order.
Sheriff's investigators said Neville and the 53-year-old housemate were apparently platonic.
Vogler said trailer lot renters are not supposed to be long-term residents at the campground, and the management was planning to ask the men to move on. He said Neville is a former Hayward resident.
Staffers at Lawson's Landing said the two older housemates kept a very low profile in the campground. Residents said the 19-year-old had a high-wattage smile and a charming demeanor, and could often be seen walking his border collier or crabbing on the pier.
"He was a pleasure to talk to," said Kerry Apgar, an employee at the boathouse store. "It's a tragedy. It's very sad.
"He was always a nice kid. He had a smile that would light up a room. He really did. He was a very handsome young man."
Another employee, Roslyn Pomeroy, said the man was working toward becoming a nurse and hoped to move to Australia.
"He had high hopes over that," she said.
A section of the 190-lot campground was sealed off with crime tape throughout the day Thursday while sheriff's detectives and a coroner's investigator were at the scene. The sheriff's department obtained a warrant to search the trailer.
Although the three men had been in at Lawson's Landing for less than year, the 19-year-old man had a friendly reputation even outside the campground.
"He was a very sweet guy, very happy," said Amber Tuleja, a clerk at the local general market. "He was never in a bad mood."
Paul Cummesky, assistant manager of the store, said the man once volunteered to help him pick up wet telephone books that had been distributed throughout the neighborhood in a pouring rain.
"He'd only been here a short time, but he loved Dillon Beach," Cummesky said. "It's a quiet little town and this has been shocking, devastating news."
The incident was the most serious violence at the resort since 2007, when camper Casey Adams, a 26-year-old Santa Rosa resident, was killed during an argument on the beach. Two men were charged with involuntary manslaughter and a third with assault with a deadly weapon.
©2014 The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.)
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