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Parolee will stand trial in Sgt. Steve Owen death

Steve Owens (264021)
Steve Owens

A 28-year-old parolee has been ordered to stand trial on murder and other charges stemming from the 2016 shooting death of a sheriff’s sergeant outside a Lancaster apartment complex.

Trenton Trevon Lovell, of Lancaster, is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 4 on the charges. He is accused of killing sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Owen, 53, on Oct. 5, 2016. Prosecutors allege Lovell shot Owen, then pumped more bullets into him when the lawman was already on the ground.

The murder charge against Lovell includes the special circumstance allegations of murder of a peace officer in the performance of his duties and murder for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest. Prosecutors will determine later whether to seek the death penalty.

Owen was among the sheriff’s deputies responding to a report of a possible burglary in progress.

Owen was a 29-year department veteran who had worked in the Antelope Valley for years and was well known for his community involvement, especially with area youths. He was promoted to sergeant five years earlier and worked as a sheriff’s Arson-Explosives detective.

His killing prompted an outpouring of support for his family and remembrances of Owen’s unwavering dedication to his job and commitment to the community. Law enforcement officers from as far away as New York and public officials including Gov. Jerry Brown attended his funeral service. A section of State Route 14 in the Antelope Valley was dedicated in his name on the one-year anniversary of his death.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said at the ceremony that the dedication “will serve as a continuous reminder of his selfless act, as well as a lesson to us all that we each have the ability to improve our community — much like Steve did every day.”