Saturday, September 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Accused killer’s mom testifies in son’s defense

Lonnie J. Kerley, left, was was indicted Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011, by a Solano County grand jury on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the 1996 death of Danna L. Dever, right, of Cordelia.

Lonnie J. Kerley, left, was was indicted Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011, by a Solano County grand jury on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the 1996 death of Danna L. Dever, right, of Cordelia.

By
From page A3 | December 06, 2012 |

VALLEJO — A suspected killer’s mother took the witness stand Wednesday in her son’s jury trial for a 1996 cold-case homicide.

Lonnie J. Kerley, 52, is accused of killing his girlfriend in June 1996. He reported Danna Dever missing six weeks after he told police she walked out the front door of their Cordelia home and never came back. Her body was found dumped in a ditch south of Dixon in 1996 but it was not identified until 2007 when the case was reopened.

Kerley was arrested in 2010.

Kerley’s mother, Eleanor Kerley, testified she and her husband visited the couple several times a week before Dever disappeared and that she had never seen her son strike Dever during the couple’s long, turbulent relationship and had never seen any marks or bruises on Dever’s body. The trial began in October with several prosecution witnesses describing Dever’s injuries and her talk of being a repeated victim of domestic violence.

Even after her son was arrested by Fairfield police on domestic violence six months before Dever’s disappearance, Eleanor Kerley never thought to ask what he had been arrested for. Kerley contradicted a previous witness’s testimony, saying she had not at one time stepped over Dever to pluck up the couple’s 9-year-old daughter as her son repeatedly kicked Dever, who was lying on the floor of their home.

Eleanor Kerley said she had repeatedly confronted Dever about her drug use and she repeatedly mentioned Dever once saying something about green slime oozing on the walls and bugs crawling all over her daughter. Her son’s defense attorney has blamed methamphetamine for luring Dever into harm’s way after she disappeared.

Eleanor Kerley also described being at her son’s home on the day Dever walked out the door and never came back. Her description echoed the description her son gave police in 2010 before his arrest.

Kerley also described how good her son was at customizing cars and competing in motorcycles racing. While her son had raced his motorcycles at tracks all over Northern California, she said he had never been to Argyll Park, a motorcycle track nearby where Dever’s body was dumped.

Eleanor Kerley testified last year in front of a grand jury that later issued an indictment on a murder charge against her son. Prosecutor Krishna Abrams ended the day by pointing to some of the contradictions between what Eleanor Kerley testified to Wednesday and what she told grand jurors.

The trial is scheduled to resume Monday with Eleanor Kerley expected to retake the witness stand.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or jsullivan@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Solano jobless rate drops, jobs rise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
 
Memorial focuses on hope, healing from addiction

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Vacaville High graduate shines at tech event

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
New law aimed at urban water district reports

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Travis celebrates KC-10′s 20 years at base

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Highway 37 detours in place

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
Maintenance begins on Rio Vista Bridge Sunday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Mother gives late daughter a voice by helping others

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B8, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

Record-setting retardant used on California fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Brown vetoes diaper changing-station bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Oakland mother charged in cocaine death of son, 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

State to ban smoking at home day cares

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Driver of stolen van that hit dog gets prison time

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

License plate scanner networks capture movements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Feds approve California’s immigrant license words

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

California man accused of killing fellow gym-goer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
California school gender equity ruling upheld

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Fence-jumper makes it into the White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Daughter calls Utah doctor a monster at sentencing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

3 guilty in Ga. salmonella-tainted peanut trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Fierce fighting in Yemeni capital kills 120

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Sierra Leone begins 3-day Ebola lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ambush suspect could be aided by dense woods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

France joins US against Islamic State over Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

 
After vote to stay in UK, Scots must heal divide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Florida town knew shooter had troubled past

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

Lots of services available for Solano veterans

By Ted Puntillo | From Page: A8

 
Cheers, jeers for the week of Sept. 14-20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Fairfield Ford boosts animal adoption efforts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Sept. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
Make sure you get educated during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

 
Fallon to pay up, broadcast show in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Legs power Mustangs in win over Falcons

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s Lester holds Phillies to 5 hits in 7 innings in 3-1 victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Big plays in second half lift Vanden past Center

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

Gordon has suspension reduced to 10 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
After NFL, baseball addresses domestic violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Goodell: ‘Same mistakes can never be repeated’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kershaw gets 20th win as Dodgers pound Cubs 14-5

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders could be down 2 starters on defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks open with new vibe after playoff collapse

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers’ Davis, McDonald questionable for Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stewart slogs through tough day at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rio Vista gets easy football win over Delta

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Keselowski wins pole at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

Pabst Brewing to be sold to Russian company

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

 
China fines GlaxoSmithKline $492M for bribery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Procter & Gamble cancels on-field NFL promotion

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

 
California adopts olive-oil labeling standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

Yahoo rakes in another jackpot from Alibaba’s IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Alibaba stock soars in jubilant trading debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

The Kuro taste: Peppery tang and hint of squid ink

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Charles Randolph Orr

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Corazon Libunao Thompson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Allie M. Zell-Jones

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
George Junior Rhode

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 09/20/14

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.23 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

New Standard Pacific models in Vacaville

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3