A new count of sexual assault has been added to charges against a 22-year-old man facing trial in the stabbing deaths of an affluent couple and their unborn child in their multi-million-dollar Southern California beach house.
Joshua Graham Packer was indicted last week by a grand jury for forcing a pregnant Davina Husted to perform a sex act on him before she was stabbed to death.
Packer is facing a death penalty trial on accusations that he killed Brock and Davina Husted and their unborn child inside their Faria Beach home on May 20, 2009.
Packer appeared in court Monday on the latest indictment, but arraignment was postponed until May 16.
The prosecutor and defence lawyer wouldn’t comment.
The case has sparked national interest, in part because Ventura County, California – otherwise known as the Gold Coast – is one of the safest neighbourhoods in the country.
Mr and Mrs Husted, both 42, were stabbed to death at their beachfront home the night of May 20, 2009, after an armed man wearing a motorcycle mask burst through the unlocked double doors in the front of the beach house.
According to the indictment, Packer forced Mrs Husted to perform oral sex on him before he allegedly stabbed her.
Police arrested Packer nearly a year later in conjunction to the crimes.
Murdered: Affluent couple Brock and Davina Husted and their unborn child were stabbed to death inside their Faria Beach home on May 20, 2009
Packer, who pleaded not guilty to the crimes, faces the death penalty if convicted, but can also be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Ventura County Star said.
Scene photos following the gruesome murders show a community struck by shock and grief.
The Star reported that both the husband and wife had been stabbed multiple times – Mr Husted was stabbed more than 20 times, and his wife, more than 30.
The murders were witnessed by their then-nine-year-old son, who had ran to get cash from his mother’s purse to give to the armed intruder.
But when he returned, the man was stabbing his parents with a kitchen knife in the bedroom, according to search warrants in the triple murder case released in 2010.
The couple’s son told sheriff’s detectives he helped his parents get cash from their wallets to give to the man wearing a black motorcycle helmet.
Booming business: Mr Hustead, centre left, ran a wrought-iron business called Custom Couture, which afforded he and his wife, centre right, a very comfortable lifestyle
He also said his parents made the robber promise not to hurt him or his 11-year-old sister, who was sleeping, and the man agreed.
The boy said his parents ran toward their bedroom and the intruder followed. He heard his mother scream, then hid behind the living room couch until the man left.
The boy woke his sister and together, they checked on their parents’ bodies. The children then locked the bedroom door and escaped through a window to a neighbour’s home.
DNA evidence links Packer to Mrs Husted, and more of his DNA was found under Mr Husted’s fingernails.
The couple married in 1995. Mr Husted ran a custom-design wrought iron shop that catered to high-end clients, an extremely lucrative business.
Mel Gibson and Oprah Winfrey were some of his clients, according to NBC’s Dateline.
Mrs Husted, a former Miss California contestant, was expecting her third child in the fall of 2009. The couple were planning on naming the child Grant.
Mr Husted’s brother Scott told NBC’s Dateline in 2010 that the murders were baffling.
‘There’s no obvious reason why this family would have drawn a killer to them at 10:30 in the evening, while they’re watching American Idol,’ he said.