One thing that bothered me about the Stephen Tauzer mess and subsequent murder is this: Why did Eddie Jagels let Tauzer show favoritism to a confirmed drug addict? That goes SO against Eddie's image as a "take no prisoners" hard-nosed DA? Eddie doesnt cut ANYONE his office prosecutes an ounce of slack, even the small potatoes that run through his office. In fact, Eddie touts his conviction rate on the DA's website: The highest per-capita conviction rate of any decent sized county in the State Of California(Edit: I have been corrected by a lawyer that Jagels' office has the highest prison commitment rate of any major California County). To quote from the Bakersfield Californian article entitled: The Lords of Bakersfield "Jagels' department has successfully obtained a significant number of "three-strikes" sentences as well: 372 since the frequent-offender law was enacted in 1994, according to D.A.'s data through 2001. That is the largest per-capita rate of any of the state's 15 most populous counties." So, tell me sportsfans..does it make any sense that Jagels would condone or allow Stephen Tauzer to buy Chris Hillis' drug-addicted son Lance cars, provide him with money and a place to live? Tauzer, the Asst. DA even wrote letters to the Judges handling Lance's various court cases, trying to get the kid off, or at the very least lenency each and every time he fucked up and got busted for something.
Why would Eddie allow all that? Why would Eddie let it appear to people that Lance, who was in trouble every time he turned around, was getting away with something..everything it seemed? Why would Jagels allow his Asst DA to time and time again lobby on behalf of a kid who's own father wanted him to deal with the consequences of his actions? Lance's dad was no stranger to Jagels or Tauzer..he worked as an Investigator FOR the DA's office.
The Lords of Bakersfield is a story that has circulated around Kern County since 1950. It tells the story of prominent members of our society..lawyers, judges, prosecutors and even the Bakersfield Californian's publisher. It tells the story of how these men were homosexuals, these men of power. The story goes like this, according to the Californian's article: "Some were homosexuals who preyed upon young men and boys, then used their positions of power and influence to protect one another from possible ramifications. Occasionally, however, the preyed-upon lashed out, leading to a string of murders involving young gay men and their prominent, older male suitors."
Tauzer wasn't married. He lived alone, except when Lance was living with him. Chris Hillis' lawyer was going to delve into Tauzer's past. A quote from him from the Lords article: "We might very well look at similar cases over the years, in which young male hustlers or victims killed closeted homosexual men from Bakersfield," said Kyle Humphrey, Chris Hillis' attorney. "Even if that (direction of inquiry) is an uncomfortable area for people in the community -- prominent people." Tauzer was, many believe, a homosexual that Lance used when he needed money or drugs. It was seemingly a sex-for-money relationship between the young man and the old Asst. DA. Chris Hillis' knew it and so did other people in town. It was as obvious as the nose on your face.
If Chris Hillis knew it..don't you think Ed Jagels knew it too? I would bet my last dollar on it sportsfans..Yet Jagels never reined in Stephen Tauzer's fixation with Lance Hillis. Jagels was Tauzer's boss and long-time friend. Why did he do nothing?
Tauzer was murdered five weeks after Lance drove a stolen car head on into another vehicle and died instantly. Tauzer was found with numerous knife wounds to his body and with a knife still stuck in his head.
Chris Hillis' maintained his innocence of Tauzer's murder until shortly before his trial was to start. He suddenly plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Hillis, who was sentenced to 12 years, is now serving his sentence in state prison. Chris refuses to tell what happened that night at Tauzers house, or what Tauzer said that could drive Hillis' into a murderous rage.
Does Eddie Jagels ever stop and wonder what he could of done to prevent his friend and employee's murder?
Wait till I tell you about what Jagels did when his wife was popped for writing phony prescriptions for drugs...tomorrow.