Q: There was a young man that was murdered with a tire iron by a older man on Doolittle Drive west of Roseville, in Sabre City Estates Mobile Home Park, about 20 years ago. Do you know what happened and if anyone was ever arrested?
Karen E., Roseville
A: Terrence Marion Skattebo was convicted of second-degree murder in the 1997 death of 23-year-old Kenneth William Towe Jr. of Rio Linda.
According to stories in The Sacramento Bee, Towe was hit in the head with a 3-foot-long steel bar during a confrontation at Sabre City on Oct. 23, 1997. He died four days later at Sutter Roseville Medical Center.
Skattebo, an ex-convict, told Placer County sheriff’s deputies that he intended only to “scare off” Towe and his acquaintances, who had been arguing, because he had “dope” in his trailer and was afraid police would be called. Court records indicated that traces of methamphetamine were found in Skattebo’s blood at the time of his arrest.
Witnesses told deputies that Towe was unarmed and made no aggressive moves.
In Skattebo’s original trial, Placer County jurors acquitted him of first-degree murder but deadlocked 8-4 on second-degree murder. He was convicted of second-degree murder in a second trial and sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison. Now 61 years old, Skattebo is at California State Prison, Solano, in Vacaville.