The murder trial of Trevor Holminski concluded in Quincy, CA on Tuesday. Sheldon Steward, 24, of Oakland was convicted of his murder by the jury after one day of deliberation. The two friends were backpacking together in Plumas National Forest in 2015 when the tragedy occurred. They had both ingested LSD and there was speculation that the two were in a hallucinogen induced “bad trip”.
Steward has attested that Holminski was the aggressor in the confrontation and that he stabbed him in self-defense. Steward sustained knife wounds to his neck but authorities later determined that they were self-inflicted.
EBT further elaborated on Steward’s testimony in this May 20th story, saying the physical dispute came as a result of a rejected sexual advance by Holminski. Holminski was mortally wounded in the ensuing fight, and he asked Steward to leave him to die. “He asked me to put him out of his misery and I did it,” Steward said, adding that he closed his eyes and “started swinging” the knife.
Steward was described as “remorseful” by the prosecutor who was satisfied that justice was served, but noted “the whole thing was a tragedy”. Steward is facing 26 years to life in prison according to CBSLocal.com.
A legal fund had been set up for Steward on Indiegogo.com by his mother. The expired crowdfunding effort titled “Free Sheldon!” had garnered only $55 of the targeted $25K in funds.
Holminski was living in Emeryville and studying sound engineering at Ex’pression College (now SAE Expression) at the time of the tragedy. He and planned to join the Marines after graduating.
Holminski’s family is asking that any donations of support be made to the Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House under his name.
East Bay student found guilty of murdering friend on camping trip
By Nate Gartrell
A 24-year-old Oakland resident was convicted Tuesday of murdering his best friend and setting his body on fire in an LSD-induced haze as they camped in a remote part of Northern California.
It took the jury a little less than a full day to convict Sheldon Steward of first degree murder, arson, and enhancements for use of a knife and starting a fire in a drought. Steward’s victim, 20-year-old Trevor Holminski, was an Antioch native who was studying sound engineering and planned to join the Marines.
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