The investigation into the murder of California Highway Patrol Officer Kenyon Youngstrom has been completed, according to the county Sheriff's Office. Youngstrom was shot in the line of duty on southbound Interstate 680 in Alamo by 36-year-old Christopher Lacy of Corning, Calif. on Sept. 4, 2012.
The murder occurred during a routine traffic stop for having an obstructed license plate; Youngstrom succumbed to his injuries the next day. Lacy was shot and killed by Officer Tyler Carlton, who was recently honored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police as the nation's top trooper.
During the months-long investigation into Lacy's motive and background, an estimated 100 people were interviewed by county Sheriffs , CHP and the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office. Numerous pieces of evidence were examined and Lacy's computers and storage devices were decrypted and analyzed. Among the investigation's major findings:
-1997During college, Lacy was believed to have suffered a breakdown. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and started taking medication. His family believes he was misdiagnosed.
-2006Lacy was stopped by police in Sausalito for suspicion of DUI while operating his motorcycle. He did not answer any questions, instead handing the officer a "bill of rights" card. Lacy was arrested, but no charges were filed in the case.
-A year before the shooting of Youngstrom, Lacy started to distance himself from his family and friends. He started to be a "loner" and secluded himself. He moved to Corning, Calif. where he lived in a trailer. Lacy continued to work temporary jobs in Silicon Valley. He rented a room in Sunnyvale.
-During a search of his home, police found a handwritten suicide note. It is believed to have been written during the time of his breakdown during college.
-Six of Lacy's computers were decrypted and analyzed. Investigators found a large amount of literature on Libertarianism and the Sovereign Citizen movement. He had strong views about citizens' rights to owning a firearm and did not agree with the role of government.
-On Lacy's computer, Investigators found a "wish-list" that includes a reference to "mud on license plate." Also on the list were, "solar panel, water filter, sleeping bag, pond, fence, bulletproof vests." He also visited a website regarding the making of explosives.
-The handgun Lacy used in the murder was registered to him and lawfully purchased in 2010. He did not possess a concealed weapons permit. The vehicle, a Jeep Wrangler, was also registered to him. The last time he paid the auto registration was 2011.
"There was no indication prior to the shooting that Christopher Lacy was going to kill or assault law enforcement officials," said Sgt. Jose Beltran of the Office of the Sheriff homicide unit.
"Lacy downloaded literature on Sovereign Citizen onto his computer. Although he never declared himself a Sovereign Citizen, he certainly shared those viewpoints," said Sgt. Beltran. "Although we can develop a better picture of Lacy, in the end, we will never know exactly why he killed Officer Youngstrom."