HEMET: Yorba Linda resident scheduled to be sentenced in the double homicide of his parents

Trevor Montgomery

Riverside County News Source

David Underwood, a 42-year-old resident of Yorba Linda, recently plead guilty to two counts of murder in the brutal slaying of both his parents. David has been in jail awaiting trial for the 2014 murder. Under a plea agreement with the DA’s Office, Underwood is scheduled to be sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

On Aug. 7, 2014, at just after 8:00 a.m., officers from Hemet Police Department were dispatched to a residence in the Hemet West Mobile Estates, located in the 5000 block of Florida Ave. Several neighbors in the quiet residential community had called 911 to report hearing the sounds of multiple gunshots come from inside a home in the mobile home park.

Officers arrived at the residence within minutes and discovered the bodies of two shooting victims. According to police officials and a later coroner’s report, both victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene. The coroner’s office later identified the victims as Michael Underwood, 71, and his wife, Laura Underwood, 68.

Multiple witnesses at the time reported seeing a man they recognized as David ride away from the home on a bicycle. Officers canvassed the area and recovered the bicycle near a dumpster in the parking lot of a WinCo store, not far from Michael and Laura’s residence.

Hemet homicide detectives assumed the investigation, with assistance from patrol officers. Based on witness statements and thorough investigative means, officers quickly identified David as the suspect in the death of his parents. At the time, police officials announced the murders occurred during or following a domestic dispute between David and his parents. Police officials also confirmed there had been numerous reports of domestic disputes between David and his parents at the home in the past.

Just nine hours into their investigation, with assistance from Anaheim police officials, officers located David in city of Anaheim at about 5 p.m. He was detained without incident and questioned him regarding his involvement in Michael and Laura’s deaths. During questioning, David reportedly admitted to murdering both his parents.

In a prior interview with ABC News, one of Michael and Laura’s neighbors, Joe Diaz stated, “(The murders) kind of blew me away. You know, this is a nice, quiet community. We’re not supposed to have this kind of stuff.” Continuing, Diaz described, “I walked outside and I heard bang, bang, bang, bang and then a couple seconds later, bang, bang, bang.”

Based on David’s admissions, witness statements and evidence recovered at the scene of the fatal shootings, David was arrested for the murder of his parents. He was booked into jail the following day and held in lieu of $1,000,000 bail.

According to Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Garcia, the DA’s office filed two counts of murder against David, who was also charged with a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders. The charges filed by the DA’s office made David eligible for the death penalty.

Following the brutal slayings and David’s arrest, Hemet Police Chief Dave Brown addressed shaken residents of the mobile home park at a town hall meeting; assuring them he was confident David had acted alone in the incident. At the time Brown stated the incident was related to a domestic disturbance, and he advised neighbors they did not face any further danger.

During that meeting, Brown told residents, “For the safety, well-being, and peace of mind of the entire community, we knew we had to identify and apprehend the person responsible by sundown. That is precisely what we did.” Chief Brown continued, “We are confident that the individual responsible for this senseless crime is in our custody. I’m very proud of the teamwork that led to the swift apprehension.”

With David’s sentencing scheduled for today, Hemet residents and family of the victims are now one step closer to having closure in the tragic incident.

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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