Man Convicted of Murdering Deputy with Stolen Stove

Man Convicted of Murdering Deputy with Stolen Stove

 David Stan Piquette

SANTA ANA – Cole Allen Wilkins (41) of Long Beach faces 25 years-to-life in state prison for the murder of Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff David Stan Piquette (34). The 10-year deputy was on his way to the Sheriff’s Academy on the SR-91 freeway, when a stolen stove fell off of a vehicle and landed in the roadway.

The stove and several other items had just been stolen by the driver of the pickup, Wilkins, who had a lengthy criminal history dating back to age 11.

During the early morning hours of July 7, 2006, Wilkins stole a shipment of appliances that had been delivered to a home under construction in Riverside County, failed to secure the stolen appliances while fleeing the scene and left the tailgate of his pick-up truck down. He refused to stop after knowing that the stolen stove had fallen off and blocked freeway lanes, sped away, and failed to return to the crash scene.

At approximately 5:00 a.m., several people driving just west of Tustin Avenue on the 91 Freeway called 911 about a stove obstructing the left westbound lane. Several vehicles took action to evade the stove, including Deputy Piquette and a tractor trailer. One of trailers overturned and landed atop Deputy Piquette’s unmarked vehicle.

Deputy Piquette sustained fatal injuries in the crash. He is survived by his wife and (then 3-year-old) twins.
The prosecutor, Santa Ana Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker of the Homicide Unit, presented Case # 06NF2339 to the jury on Wednesday.

The case was re-tried after the California Supreme Court overturned the defendant’s conviction due to the trial court failing to give a required jury instruction. Wilkins was found guilty of one felony count of second-degree murder, with sentencing scheduled for September 29, 2017, 9:00 a.m. in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

“The Orange County District Attorney’s Office extends our utmost gratitude to the jury for their careful consideration of the facts and for delivering a just verdict of murder in this case,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

“This defendant deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison for murdering a police officer who was on his way to serve and protect the public. Our hearts go out to Deputy Piquette’s widow and children who had to endure not only the sudden, tragic loss of their husband and father, but multiple trials and hearings. It is for them and other crime victims and survivors that we dedicate our lives.”

Categories: Orange

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