More than a year since a Georgia man died after being severely beaten in Garberville, police have arrested someone for his murder.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office announced today that Raymond Earl Preschern was extradited from Oregon on a warrant for the murder of Khanh Lam and booked into the local jail on Aug. 19.
On July 18, 2015
, sheriff’s deputies were called to Garberville’s Jerold Phelps Community Hospital where Lam was in critical condition, unconscious from a possible assault. Through their investigation, deputies learned Lam, 37, had been involved in an argument with a female in downtown Garberville after attempting to remove a child from her car. During the argument, four men allegedly confronted Lam, who took off running. The men, who had dogs with them, gave chase, according to the sheriff’s office.
“At some point during this incident it was reported by a witness that Lam possibly fell while he was running and received a head injury from falling to the ground,” a sheriff’s office press release that followed the incident stated, adding that witnesses called 911 after finding Lam lying unconscious in the 700 block of Locust Street. Lam was transported out of the area to be treated for a brain injury but was ultimately taken off life support by his family.
A forensic pathologist ultimately determined that Lam died of blunt force trauma that was inconsistent with a fall, morphing the investigation into a homicide case. It’s unclear at this point what led detectives to Preschern.
See the full press release from the sheriff’s office copied below:
Ramey Warrant Arrest - Case 201503461
On July 6, 2016 Raymond Earl Preschern was arrested by the Portland Bureau of Police in Oregon on a Humboldt County Superior Court Ramey warrant for the murder of Khanh Lam. Preschern was extradited and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on Friday, August 19, 2016.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
On Saturday, July 25, 2015 an autopsy was performed on Lam’s body at the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office by a Forensic Pathologist. The results of the autopsy were Lam’s injuries were not consistent with a fall, as previously reported by witnesses. Cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Lam’s death as a homicide.
On Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 12:48 p.m. a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy responded to Jerold Phelps Community Hospital in Garberville, regarding a possible male assault victim, who had arrived at the hospital by ambulance. Hospital staff told the deputy that the male victim, who had been identified as 37 year old Khanh Lam was unconscious with a severe head injury and was in critical condition. Lam was flown to an out of area hospital for treatment, because of his injuries.
Deputies and CHP Officers then responded to a possible location where Lam was injured, which was located in the 700 block of Locust Street, Garberville. Deputies spoke to witnesses who reported that Lam was involved in an argument with a female subject and attempted to remove her child from a car. At some point during the argument (4) four males subjects confronted Lam. According to the witnesses Lam took off running and the (4) male subjects, along with their dogs started to pursue Lam on foot. At some point during this incident it was reported by a witness that Lam possibly fell while he was running and received a head injury from falling to the ground. When witnesses found Lam lying on the ground unconscious they dialed 9-1-1.
On Sunday, July 19, 2015 at about 5:00 p.m. a medical doctor informed the Sheriff’s Office that Lam is currently on life support and has no brain activity. Lam’s family has been notified and is consulting with medical staff on their decision to take Lam off life support. Lam is from Atlanta, Georgia.
The Sheriff’s Office is considering this a suspicious death investigation and is asking for the public’s help if anyone witnessed this incident. They are encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office or Detective Jennifer Turner at 707-268-3642.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
Mike Downey, Sheriff