An Orange County personal trainer was convicted Tuesday of executing a man he thought was sleeping with his ex-girlfriend and a woman who looked like his ex in a Huntington Beach condo in 2019.
“Darren Partch and Wendi Miller were executed at the hands of a jealous ex-boyfriend who was hunting for the woman he was obsessed with. This was not a heat of passion crime; this was a systematic and methodical plot to exact revenge and eliminate his rivals – real or perceived,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a news release.
Jamon Rayon Buggs, 47, was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder with a special circumstance of multiple murders, one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, one count of attempted first-degree burglary, and a sentencing enhancement of personal discharge of firearm causing death, according to the Orange County District Attorney.
Weeks before the slayings, authorities said Buggs was searching for addresses, phone numbers, and pictures of Darren Donald Partch on the internet after accusing him of having a relationship with Buggs’ ex-girlfriend. The DA said Buggs threatened Partch twice, despite Partch not actually knowing Bugg’s ex-girlfriend.
Sue Miller, 48, who “resembled” Buggs’ ex because she had blonde wavy hair, was said to have had no contact with Buggs before the shocking slayings.
Partch and Miller were found dead in a condo in the 2100 block of East 15th Street in Newport Beach April 21, 2019.
Hours after the slayings, authorities said Buggs tried to break into another man’s apartment in Irvine, suspecting that he also was sleeping with his ex. A woman saw Buggs climbing down from the balcony and police said when he saw her, he fired his gun. Police set up surveillance at the building after the shooting and the following night, waited for him to drive up in a Camaro.
Buggs led a pursuit and eventually after an hourslong search was detained.
The DA said the gun found on him matched the bullets used in the slayings, as well as DNA on the weapons.
The DA also said Buggs was convicted of assault on a police officer in San Diego County in 1995.
He is to be sentenced June 3. He faces a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
Court records show that Buggs and his ex-girlfriend got into a legal tussle in which the two traded allegations of domestic violence and sought restraining orders against each other.
In January, the ex alleged in a restraining order request that Buggs broke into her Huntington Beach residence. She said that on another date, she heard someone jiggling the door to her bedroom and when she asked who it was, he refused to answer.
"I called 911,'' she says in her court papers. "Jamon's car was down the street. My roommates are terrified and now he stated that he will have someone hurt me if I file a restraining order.''
City News Service contributed to this report.