BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - A preliminary hearing was held in Butte County Superior Court today for the Comanche Creek homeless stabbing. At the end of the hearing, Jedidiah James Wright, 30, was held to answer on a charge of murder by Judge Kristen Lucena.
Lucena found that the prosecution presented sufficient evidence to hold Wright for a jury trial on the allegation that he used a knife to stab and kill John Snoberger, 47, on Aug. 1.
During the preliminary hearing, officers from the Chico Police Department described the homeless encampment at the Comanche Creek Greenway as containing several hundred homeless individuals in difficult and crowded conditions, according to Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.
The officers testified the crowded conditions at the encampment make it nearly impossible to service the area, Ramsey said. Several members of the Comanche Creek encampment were also present at the hearing and testified about the conditions and the stabbing.
Ramsey said the evidence presented today showed Snoberger and Wright were both living at the Comanche Creek Greenway.
At approximately 3:50 p.m., Wright walked over to Snoberger’s camp to confront him about a fight between Snoberger and a friend of Wright’s the day before.
According to witnesses, Wright confirmed Snoberger’s identity and then immediately stabbed him in the chest once with a small folding knife which wounded him fatally.
Wright then left the encampment and headed down E. Park Ave. where he was detained by Chico police and ultimately arrested, Ramsey said. Prior to his detainment, Wright disposed of the knife but directed officers to the weapon which was recovered.
Chico police officers were at the encampment within minutes and immediately began life-saving measures on Snoberger. Even with their efforts, Snoberger died within the hour.
Wright told officers that the stabbing had been in self-defense. However witnesses testified Wright had visited a campsite immediately adjacent to Snoberger’s earlier in the day to “scope out” the campsite, Ramsey said.
Deputy District Attorney Jessica Miller argued to the judge that Wright did not have a valid claim of self-defense because the stabbing had apparently occurred in retaliation. Miller also argued that Wright had arrived at Snoberger’s campsite with the knife in an open position, ready to use.
Wright remains in custody at the Butte County Jail with no bail. He will appear in court on Oct. 27, 2021, at 8:30 a.m. to be arraigned on the charge of Murder with Use of a Knife.