Update, 2:15 p.m. Nov. 7:
Kellen Christopher Trimble has not been charged with attempted murder in connection with a dispute Friday at a Cambria homeless encampment. He faces one felony assault charge, with an enhancement, and one misdemeanor charge, under a formal complaint filed Tuesday by the District Attorney’s Office in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
The felony charge filed by the DA’s Office is one of assault with a deadly weapon. The weapon Trimble allegedly used is listed in the complaint as a tomahawk under a weapon allegation enhancement.
Trimble also has been charged with a misdemeanor; the DA’s Office alleges that he “did unlawfully, in the presence of another, draw and exhibit a deadly weapon in a rude, angry and threatening manner and did use a deadly weapon in a fight and quarrel.”
A 32-year-old Cambria man arrested Saturday morning and booked into County Jail on suspicion of assault and attempted murder is receiving widespread support from friends in the North Coast town.
Kellen Christopher Trimble allegedly hit another man and in the face with a hatchet Friday, and that man — identified Monday by sheriff’s Cmdr. Jim Voge as David Anthony Lordan, 35 — said Trimble threatened to kill him.
Trimble, a Cambria native, left the scene. Early Saturday, he was seen walking along Main Street before heading down to a creek area under the Highway 1 bridge, a news release said. Sheriff’s deputies arrested him on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked into County Jail, and bail was set at $500,000. Arraignment was set for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8.
Ilan Funke-Bilu, an attorney who served on the Cambria Community Services District board from 2000 to 2008, has been retained to represent Trimble.
“The case is already moving in the right direction,” Funke-Bilu said Tuesday.
“We’re optimistic,” said Trimble’s mother, Heather Trimble, who has owned Casa de Oro Jewelry at 4090 Burton Drive for 19 years. “We’ve got a good team going for us, and we know our son and we know the details. We’re very optimistic this is going to turn out like it’s supposed to. Kellen’s getting a lot of support.”
Trimble attended Leffingwell High School and obtained his GED, Heather Trimble said. A database search found no criminal records associated with Trimble.
On his Facebook page, Trimble describes himself as self-employed. His website, “Artifacts Beyond the Wall,” advertises pendants, earrings and other custom-made jewelry fashioned from wood, copper, brass and other materials. The site describes Trimble’s work as “quality hand-crafted jewelry inspired by ancient druid and medieval relics of the past.”
“I live in a small coastal town and am deeply connected to nature’s balance and imbalance,” Trimble wrote on the site. “In my spare time, I enjoy building cairns by creeks and on beaches. It’s a way to center myself and reconnect with the subtle beauties of nature and life in balance.”
According to a mention in Feb. 27, 2014, Cambrian, Trimble had been building cairns for about four years at that point. “I actually build some cairns designed to be knocked down,” he said, which gives him a chance to rebuild them.
Amanda Rice, president of the Cambria Community Services District, heard Trimble’s name on the police scanner and called his mother. Rice said she’s known him for about six or seven years.
“He’s the kind of person who will pick up every bird with a broken wing and try to fix it,” Rice said in a phone interview Monday. “It’s not in him (to be violent). That does not comport with the Kellen that I know. ... The guy’s just incredibly smart and funny.”
Claudia Elaine Alexander of Cambria said she’d worked as a jeweler in the same building with Heather Trimble for 27 years. “I have watched Kellen grow up,” she said. “He is friends with my kids. He is not violent, but hanging out with people he thinks he can help backfires. ... I know that the so-called victim did not take an axe to the face. I saw him up close; he had a bloody nose, caused by not by an axe, no gash or slit.”
According to the initial report from the Sheriff’s Office, the alleged victim received a minor laceration and refused medical treatment at the scene. It also said the weapon allegedly used had been recovered.
“Injuries were minor on the victim,” Voge said. “From what I saw, a scrape alongside his nose, slightly bleeding. He had a mark on his thigh, a contusion.”
On his Facebook page, Lordan describes himself as a Cambria native who graduated from Coast Union High School in 2000 and currently lives in Hollywood. The site says he is a former “art dog”; the website IMDb lists a David Lordan as a set dresser, art crew member, production designer and art department production assistant on various television and film productions from 2009 to 2015.
A criminal records search by The Cambrian turned up a number of arrests for Lordan in San Luis Obispo, Ventura and Los Angeles counties, including felony arrests in Redondo Beach in 2008 and in Torrance the following year. Three of the SLO County arrests were on suspicion of being under the influence and possessing a controlled substance.
Voge said the dispute between Trimble and Lordan also involved a woman, Jaclyn Porter, 26. According to Heather Trimble, her son and Porter had been friends for a number of years. Photos of Porter were included in a June 18 posting on Lordan’s Facebook page under the heading “In Love.” Heather Trimble and Alexander both said her son was concerned for Porter’s welfare.
Injuries were minor on the victim. From what I saw, a scrape alongside his nose, slightly bleeding. He had a mark on his thigh, a contusion.
Jim Voge, Sheriff’s Office commander
Dianne Brooke of Cambria said she had known Trimble since he was in the Boy Scouts. “I’ve always known him to be a straightforward person who has always stood up for those he felt needing standing up for,” she said. “I am very willing to believe that is what happened here.”
Trimble’s arrest came shortly after The Cambrian ran a story about a resurgence in the number of homeless encampments uncovered by the Sheriff’s Office in forested areas of the community. In presentations to the CCSD and North Coast Advisory Council, sheriff’s officials said they had identified a site near the Old Cambria Grammar School that included a butane stove, open fire pit and man-made dam across Santa Rosa Creek.
Heather Trimble said her son sometimes lived with her but sometimes stayed with friends, as he had been for the past week and a half. “He knows some people that were staying at that particular camp” where the alleged altercation took place. “I think he was visiting a couple of his friends there.”
Others on social media were skeptical of the charges, calling Trimble “a good guy” and a “kind-hearted person.” One woman said he had found her wallet, containing $500, a few years ago and returned it.
Cambrian staff writer Kathe Tanner contributed reporting for this story.