Thursday, August 24, 2023

Alderpoint Man Found Guilty of Murder

Posted By on Thu, Aug 24, 2023 at 10:35 AM

A Humboldt County jury on Wednesday convicted an Alderpoint man of first degree murder for the fatal shooting of an acquaintance at his home in January of 2022.

Jake Henry Combs, 31, faces 50 years in prison for the death of Trevor John Earley, 25, who was apparently shot in the head without warning at some point after he became upset and threatened Combs' large dog when he was bit in the face.

Combs initially fled the scene but was arrested on State Route 36 near Buck Mountain after getting into a crash.

"I am grateful for the excellent investigative work of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Justice - Bureau of Forensics. I extend my deepest condolences to Trevor Earley’s family,” said Deputy District Attorney Whitney Timm, who prosecuted the case, in a news release.

Combs is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 15.


Read the DA Office's release below:
Yesterday, a Humboldt County jury convicted 31-year-old Jake Henry Combs of first degree murder for the January 6, 2022 killing of 25-year-old Trevor John Earley of Alderpoint. Additionally, the jury found Combs intentionally discharged a firearm, causing Earley’s death. Combs faces 50 years to life in prison.

After hours of socializing together, Earley, Combs and others, were at Combs’ home when his large aggressive dog bit through Earley’s nose. Earley became upset and threatened the dog. Sometime later, while Earley chatted on the front porch with a friend, Combs retrieved his loaded 9mm pistol from his backpack, walked up to Earley from the side, and, without warning, Combs shot Earley in the head. Combs immediately fled the scene, but was apprehended by law enforcement on Highway 36.

Deputy District Attorney Whitney Timm, who prosecuted the murder, said, “I am grateful for the excellent investigative work of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Justice - Bureau of Forensics. I extend my deepest condolences to Trevor Earley’s family.” District Attorney Stacey Eads hopes the family and loved ones of Mr. Earley find some degree of peace and closure in today’s outcome and expresses her appreciation for the jury and their service.

The case was prosecuted with assistance from District Attorney Investigator Martin Morris and Victim Witness Advocate Michala Pelren. Local defense attorneys Ben McLaughlin and Emery Welton represented Combs, who is scheduled to be sentenced by the Honorable Kaleb Cockrum on September 15, 2023. 
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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