The father of an Iraq war veteran accused of beating a woman to death has been arrested for allegedly threatening one of the victim's friends during a courthouse encounter.
Mike Needham, 54, was arrested for investigation of battery and threatening to terrorize a woman after a confrontation Sept. 26 in a cafeteria at Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana. Charges were not immediately filed.
Needham's son, John Wylie Needham, is accused of killing Jacqwelyn Joann Villagomez. She was found severely beaten in his San Clemente condo over the Labor Day weekend. He has pleaded not guilty.
Authorities say Mike Needham allegedly told a female friend of Villagomez who had shown up in court that he was going to kill her.
Last September, Mike Needham told NBC Los Angeles that the victim, his son's 19-year-old girlfriend, was a violent and jealous person. Needham said his son had befriended Villagomez because she had no place to go.
"I want to send out my condolences to the family, but I also want people to know exactly what happened," said the suspect's father, Michael Needham. "She was basically broke, homeless, said she needed somewhere to stay while she figured it out."
Needham said that Villagomez and his 25-year-old son were a "bad combination." Needham said both his son and Villagomez were alcoholics. He said John Wylie Needham also suffers from psychosis and a loss of hearing as a result of being hit more than 20 times by explosives while serving in the Army in Iraq.
"He takes about seven meds for mental health, and painkillers for physical injuries and broken bones, all from combat," Michael Needham said.
Results of an autopsy attributed the cause of death of Villagomez to blunt force trauma to the head and compression of the neck, said sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino, who earlier said the 90-pound young woman was badly beaten about the face.
Michael Needham said that Monday night, he told Villagomez to leave the condo. He asked his son's girlfriend to take her to a motel, but the women never made it. Instead, Michael Needham says, Villagomez jumped out of the car and ran back to the condo.
"She told her, quote, 'I'm going to kick John's ass, and Renee's ass, and take them to hell,'" Michael Needham said.
When Needham finally arrived back at the condo, there were deputies at the scene who had been called to help a woman retreive her purse from the home. They found his son in a room with Villagomez, who was badly beaten. Needham said he convinced his son to open the door.
"He was crying, screaming. It looked like he'd been attacked in his room," Michael Needham said.
Deputies used a Taser gun to subdue John Wylie Needham. Villagomez was still breathing, but she died an hour later.
"Once he was restrained, deputies went inside to the first-floor bedroom and found the victim unconscious in the bedroom," Amormino said. "It was somewhat of a bloody scene."
Investigators said they believe Needham used his fists.
Michael Needham said the 19-year-old woman had written on his son's MySpace page words that convinced him she was violent and jealous.
"If she couldn't have him, no one could, and she was going to make him pay," Michael Needham said.
If convicted of first-degree murder, John Needham would face a prison term of 25 years to life, according to Farrah Emami of the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
Villagomez was raised by a grandmother in Turlock, after her mother died when she was 6 and her father moved to Guam, but she attended El Toro High School in Laguna Hills for her senior year.