EUREKA- The three charged in connection to the death of a 50-year-old Arcata man have plead no contest in court.
Juan Joseph Ferrer, the Arcata man charged for stabbing Douglas Anderson-Jordet, will serve up to four years in jail for voluntary manslaughter. The two associated with his death will face lesser charges. Nicholas Benjamin Stoiber plead no contest to felony assault and Sophie Buttercup Rocheleau plead no contest to battery charges, both will be put on probation.
The three agreed to enter into a plea deal Thursday before the case went onto a preliminary trial. The three will be sentenced on April 3rd.
The trio were originally charged for murder when they were arrested in December, but the Humboldt County District Attorney's office reduced those charges. Deputy District Attorney Elan Firpo said the autopsy reviled that the fatal blow to the heart could have been a defensive move or that Anderson-Jordet could have fallen on the knife. Firpo said the three were eager to enter into a plea deal before going further in court.
"It's a tragic situation and a good reason not to carry knives," said Firpo. "If Ferrer had not had a knife, probably, there would have been an argument, some blows and nobody would have been killed."
Anderson-Jordet was found unresponsive by Arcata Police at 1:25 a.m. November 25th in downtown Arcata on 12th and H street. Investigators did not have any suspects until a tip came in that someone had had heard a fight near the plaza the same night of his death. The three were connected to the death after security footage from a downtown store revealed them walking through the Arcata Plaza near the time of Anderson-Jordet death.
Firpo said it appears that they were all drinking that night and got into a verbal fight that led to a physical fight that ended in Anderson-Jordet being stabbed. Stoiber punched Anderson-Jordet in the mouth and Ferrer stabbed him underneath the heart, but at an angle that forced the blade into his heart. Firpo said the weapon was never recovered.
The three were arrested on Dec. 3. Stoiber and Rocheleau were taken into the Arcata Police Department for questioning and were later arrested, Ferrer was arrested at his home. Ferrer remains in custody and Stoiber and Rocheleau have been released.
Anderson-Jordet was a musician and a chef at downtown restaurant, Abruzzi. His family plans to attend the sentencing in April said Firpo.