While Stephanie Douglas, her mother Trudy and cousin Barbara try to remember Sarah Douglas in happier times, it’s not hard to think about how the 26-year-old’s life came to a violent end.
The jury in the trial of Orville Fleming has found the disgraced Cal Fire battalion chief guilty of second-degree murder.
Now a jury must decide whether Fleming committed murder or manslaughter. Fleming admitted to stabbing Douglas on the witness stand last week, but attorneys argue his testimony shows he was in a dissociative state at the time and acting in a fit of anger.
Before Orville Fleming took the stand again, a defense psychologist testified that he believes the former Cal Fire chief suffered an episode of something called dissociative amnesia, some nicknaming it a zombie defense.
Even though Orville Fleming’s attorney was willing to allow his client to admit he stabbed and strangled Sarah Douglas, they’re focused on calling his frame of mind into question. Depending on what the jury believes, it could mean a big difference.
Orville Fleming said they were arguing when he went into the kitchen and grabbed a knife, and in his words, just lost it. He said he felt like a zombie when he stabbed her and doesn’t remember anything else after that.
Sarah Douglas was found stabbed to death on May 1, 2014, launching a massive manhunt stretching across the state. Orville Fleming was found two weeks later hiding in bushes near where his truck was found previously.
A jury trial is beginning for a former California fire battalion chief charged with murder in the death of his 26-year-old girlfriend.
The 14-page report to the State Personnel Board links Assistant Chief Mike Ramirez to sexual harassment, drinking on the job and viewing explicit pictures on a state-issued cellphone.
Former battalion chief Orville Fleming is accused of murdering his girlfriend Sarah Douglas in May, then leading police on a two-week manhunt as he hid from arrest. The combination of 16 firefighters being fired, demoted or resigning, comes after an investigation at Cal Fire’s Ione Fire Academy found misuse of equipment and time.
Two state firefighters have been fired and another has resigned after an investigation prompted by the slaying of a CalFire battalion chief’s girlfriend.
During the search for Orville Fleming, allegations arose of firefighters having sex with prostitutes at the Ione Fire Academy. That prompted a California Highway Patrol investigation into a possible sex tape that never materialized.