On August 24th, 2023

Jury Finds Jake Henry Combs Guilty of First-Degree Murder Deputy DA grateful for assistance from California Department of Justice - Bureau of Forensics

“The California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Forensics is a valuable tool for investigators, and those prosecuting individuals accused of a crime.   Science is key to proving innocence or guilt and we thank the criminalists at California DOJ for their service.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona

HUMBOLDT COUNTY – On August 23, 2023, a Humboldt County jury convicted Jake Henry Combs, 31, of first-degree murder for the January 6, 2022 killing of Trevor John Earley, 25, of Alderpoint. Additionally, the jury found Combs intentionally discharged a firearm, causing Earley’s death. Combs faces 50 years to life in prison.

After hours of socializing together, Earley, Combs and others, were at Combs’ home when Combs’ dog bit through Earley’s nose. Earley became upset and threatened the dog. Sometime later, while Earley chatted on the front porch with a friend, Combs retrieved his loaded 9mm pistol from his backpack, walked up to Earley from the side, and, without warning, Combs shot Earley in the head. Combs immediately fled the scene, but was apprehended by law enforcement on Highway 36.

Deputy District Attorney Whitney Timm, who prosecuted the murder, said, “I am grateful for the excellent investigative work of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Justice - Bureau of Forensics. I extend my deepest condolences to Trevor Earley’s family.” District Attorney Stacey Eads hopes the family and loved ones of Mr. Earley find some degree of peace and closure in today’s outcome and expresses her appreciation for the jury and their service.

Combs is scheduled to be sentenced on September 15, 2023.

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