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Home » Santa Clarita News » Sheriff News » Two Murder Cases With Santa Clarita Valley Ties In Court This Week
Two Murder Cases With Santa Clarita Valley Ties In Court This Week

Two Murder Cases With Santa Clarita Valley Ties In Court This Week

Two murder cases with Santa Clarita Valley ties were in court this week.

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An Acton man accused of shooting another Acton man to death in front of his neighbor’s home is slated to start his jury trial March 3, a spokesman with the District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

A Woodland Hills woman accused of shooting her mother to death in her mom’s home is scheduled to have a bail review March 5.

Scott Shipley’s Acton murder trial

After a two-hour hearing at a Lancaster court in August, Scott Shipley, 56, of Acton, was held to answer to a first degree murder charge in the May 15, 2013, shooting death of 39-year-old Christopher Demyen, also of Acton.

Related article: Acton Murder Trial Likely To Start Next Year In Lancaster

There’s also an allegation that Shipley personally discharged a firearm causing great bodily injury or death, said Tom Trainor, deputy district attorney for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, in an interview after Shipley first pleaded.

Demyen was shot once in the chest, in front of the home of Fernando Franco, who lives on the 1500 block of Eagle Butte Road.

Shipley allegedly became upset when an Acton Water Co. truck blocked the path to his home, according to evidence presented at Shipley’s preliminary hearing.

Shipley then called Demyen, who owns the water company, documents show.

The driver of the truck told Shipley that he would be leaving in about 20 minutes; however, Shipley left the scene with his daughter, his vehicle blocking the Acton Water Co. truck, according to court testimony.

An argument ensued between Demyen and Shipley after Demyen arrived on the scene.

Shipley allegedly pushed Demyen, a small fight ensued and during that fight, Shipley pulled out a gun and fired one shot into Demyen’s chest, according to evidence presented by the prosecution during the preliminary hearing.

He faces a maximum of a life sentence if convicted.

He’s being held in lieu of $2 million at Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.

Purviance murder trial

Laura Purviance, 25, of Woodland Hills, stands accused of fatally shooting her mother, Caroline Purviance, a former Hart district special education assistant, and was ordered to stand trial two weeks ago.

Related article: Former Saugus High Student To Stand Trial For Mother’s Murder

The bail motion review was requested by the prosecution due to the circumstances of the crime.

“The prosecution wanted to raise the bail because she was held to answer to a special circumstance allegation, which makes her eligible for the death penalty,” said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office.

Purviance was held to answer to one count of murder with a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, following a preliminary hearing presided by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Kellogg, according to a statement from District Attorney’s Office Spokesman Ricardo Santiago.

Caroline Purviance worked for the William S. Hart Union High School District from March 1999 to January 2004.

The felony complaint also alleges that Purviance personally and intentionally discharged a handgun, according to DA’s statement.

The special circumstance allegation makes this a potential death penalty case.

A special committee within the District Attorney’s Office reviews all potential death penalty cases and decides whether that will be sought.

That has not yet been determined in Purviance’s case, according to officials.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Purviance is being held at the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood in lieu of $2 million bail.

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Source: Santa Clarita News

Two Murder Cases With Santa Clarita Valley Ties In Court This Week

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About Perry Smith

Perry Smith is a print and broadcast journalist who has won several awards for his focused, hyperlocal community coverage in several different regions of the country. In addition to five years of experience covering the Santa Clarita Valley, Smith, a San Fernando Valley native, has worked in newspapers and news websites in Los Angeles, the Northwest, the Central Valley and the South, before coming to KHTS in 2012. To contact Smith, email him at
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