Tuesday, 05 December 2023

Man ordered to stand trial for stabbing girls

HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE – A man accused of fatally stabbing a girl and injuring her sister in March will stand trial for the charges.

James Roland Pagan, 32, of Hidden Valley Lake was in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.

He's charged with murder for the March 21 stabbing death of 10-year-old Tessa Faith Walker. He's also facing an attempted murder charge for stabbing Tessa's sister, 14-year-old Kristen.

The girls reportedly were on their way home from school when they were attacked, as Lake County News has reported.

Pagan has pleaded not guilty to those allegations as well as charges of willful cruelty to a child and force causing great bodily injury.

He's being defended by attorney Ken Roush, who Lake County News was unable to contact late Wednesday.

Wednesday's preliminary hearing was a fairly quick one, lasting about an hour and a half. “We just put on a bare bones case,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, adding that not all of the evidence was put forward at the hearing.

Hinchcliff said he couldn't publicly discuss the prosecution's theory about Pagan's alleged part in the attack.

Pagan is scheduled to return to court for an arraignment on Oct. 6, said Hinchcliff. At some point after that, a trial date should be set.

Hinchcliff said he anticipated that Pagan will go on trial next year.

Pagan remains in the Lake County Jail without bail.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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