A lifelong Cambria resident accused of hitting another man in the face with a hatchet during a confrontation at a Cambria homeless encampment will face trial after a judge heard testimony from the alleged victim Wednesday.
Kellen Christopher Trimble, who was initially accused by the Sheriff’s Office of attempted murder, is now being charged by the District Attorney’s Office with felony assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor brandishing a deadly weapon.
Trimble, 32, faces up to four years in state prison if convicted.
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He was arrested Nov. 4 after a judge issued an arrest warrant for a reported assault on 35-year-old homeless Cambria resident David Lordan. Sheriff’s officials said at the time that Trimble struck Lordan in the face with the blade end of a hatchet following an altercation at the encampment near Cambria Drive.
But according to his testimony, Lordan wasn’t seriously injured in the attack and didn’t require stitches or medical attention.
After Trimble’s arrest, friends and family from the small North Coast community rallied in support of the jewelry maker, many questioning the charges against him.
I was scared for my life.
Cambria resident David Lordan
At Trimble’s preliminary hearing Wednesday, Lordan testified that he and Trimble have known each other since high school and both of their families are from Cambria.
Lordan said that he was in the camp arguing with his girlfriend — who is also a longtime friend of Trimble’s — when Trimble came out of nowhere, screamed “I’m gonna kill you” and struck Lordan in the face, shoulder and leg.
He said he immediately grabbed Trimble in a bear hug and a struggle ensued. Lordan said he was able to subdue Trimble and hold him at bay when he said he saw a methamphetamine pipe in Trimble’s hand. He was able to get away from Trimble and call police from a phone on the side of Highway 1.
“I was scared for my life,” Lordan said.
I found Mr. Lordan’s testimony so incredible, it’s beyond belief.
Defense attorney Ilan Funke-Bilu
Trimble sat quietly, shaking his head during Lordan’s testimony.
Asked by Trimble’s attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, what led to the attack, Lordan said Trimble was jealous of his relationship with his girlfriend. Lordan also contradicted himself several times about details of the attack.
“I found Mr. Lordan’s testimony so incredible, it’s beyond belief,” Funke-Bilu told Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen in attempting to convince van Rooyen to dismiss the charges.
Though van Rooyen noted that there were inconsistencies in Lordan’s story, he agreed with Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Speer-Mathews that there was probable cause to uphold the charges.
Trimble remains out of jail on bail and is due back in court March 12.