Nearly three years after police made an initial arrest in the bludgeoning death of Laguna Beach resident Damon Nicholson, a trial date of Jan. 11 was set for the two Lake Forest men accused in his murder at a Orange County Superior Court hearing last week.
Matthew Thomas Dragna and Jacob Anthony Quintanilla, who both have remained in custody since their arrest in late 2009, were bound over for trial following a preliminary hearing last October. Each is charged with a single count of murder with special circumstances, a robbery that took place in Nicholson’s North Laguna duplex.
Prosecutors accuse Dragna and Quintanilla of using a baseball bat to batter the 40-year-old Nicholson in his Dolphin Way home and then fleeing with his cell phone and laptop computer.
Nicholson was discovered on Oct. 24, 2009, by a co-worker from Hotel Laguna where he had worked for years as the catering manager.