Alleged killer makes cryptic apology online before being arrestedAround the City Thursday, April 30th, 2015
“I want to apologize for anyone I have wronged,” wrote Ehren Lee Dragt, 35, on his Facebook account at 2:27 a.m. April 25.
Five people responded, asking him what was wrong, but there was no response from him.
Many hours later, Dragt was arrested on a murder charge after his partner, Michael Leon Campbell, 44, was found dead in a bedroom in their Escondido home in the 2000 block of Lee Avenue by Escondido Police.
Police said they were alerted by someone from out of state that a domestic violence incident may have occurred at Dragt’s home. Officers found a despondent Dragt sitting on the steps outside.
As officers investigated, Dragt was handcuffed and remained outside. Neighbors told several television news stations that Dragt collapsed at one point and was taken to a hospital for dehydration.
Dragt is now in the Vista Detention Facility without bail awaiting arraignment in Vista Superior Court.
The cause of Campbell’s death was not listed.
A neighbor told KNSD-TV (Channel 7 and 39) she is taking care of the couple’s cat.
According to the Facebook accounts of Dragt and Campbell, they met in 1999. The victim is the former owner of Campbell’s Pool and Patio. Dragt recently worked as a store manager at a Goodwill Industries store in La Mesa, and before that at DC Shoes.
Campbell had recovered from a motorcycle accident in 2014, according to his Facebook account. He is survived by his mother, Goldie Campbell, and many friends.
Wednesday, Ehren Dragt pleaded not guilty before Vista Superior Court Judge William Gentry, Jr., who set bail at $1.5 million. A preliminary hearing was set for May 12.
Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Barlow said the victim died from multiple stab wounds including one which punctured the heart. The couple had been together for 15 years.
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