VENTURA – On the night of May 20, 2009, Brock and Davina Husted and their unborn child were stabbed to death in their Faria Beach home. Following nearly a year of investigation and painstaking DNA research on the part of Ventura County sheriff’s detectives, Joshua Packer, 21, was arrested for those murders on April 11, 2010.
Between the time of the Husted murders and Packer’s arrest, Packer was involved in a Dec. 11, 2009 hit-and-run accident. In spite of his pending triple-murder charges, Packer went to trial Monday on three additional felony charges including hit-and-run, felony battery, and dissuading a witness.
According to Deputy District Attorney Anthony Sabo, the decision to proceed with the hit-and-run trial was made in spite of the pending capital murder case because of the need to allow all victims their day in court.
“There’s a victim in this case too, and we think that’s important,” he commented in statements to the press on the opening day of trial.
Evidence at the preliminary hearing on the hit-and-run charges indicated that Packer had assaulted a witness in an attempt to prevent him from using a cellphone to call police. According to media reports made by Ventura County Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Frawley, any conviction on the charges related to the hit-and-run incident can be used against Packer in the pending murder trial.
Before he faces the multiple murder charges, however, Packer will face additional felony and misdemeanor charges relating to a November 2009 alleged assault upon a security guard at the Ventura County Medical Center. Preliminary hearing on those charges is scheduled for April 21 in superior court.
Packer has entered pleas of not guilty to all charges against him and remains in custody at Ventura County jail on a “no bail” hold.