Crime - Sacto 911

Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to suspects in 1997 slayings at Arden Arcade apartment?

Q: I am looking for the story regarding the murder of Thomas Alan Posehn and another person, a female, on April 17, 1997. I understand the killer had an accomplice and they appealed.

Allen, Rancho Cordova

A: Joseph Eldridge Nicholas and Tonie Elmore were convicted of murder in the April 1997 stabbing deaths of Thomas Alan Posehn, 39, and Sheryl L. Dahlin, 34.

Both were sentenced in November 1998 to life in prison without possibility of parole. Nicholas, now 53, is incarcerated at California State Prison, Sacramento, in Folsom, and Elmore, 59, is at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione.

According to a story in The Sacramento Bee, a roommate found Posehn and Dahlin dead with multiple stab wounds inside their apartment in the 2300 block of Edison Avenue, in the Arden Arcade area. Investigators said Elmore and Nicholas were leaving Posehn and Dahlin’s apartment when the roommate came home. A neighbor said the roommate ran out of the apartment with what appeared to be superficial knife wounds to his arms after confronting the suspects.

Deputies tracked the suspects through back yards along Edison Avenue to an apartment building on Annadale Lane, where the suspects surrendered without incident. Elmore reportedly was wearing a dress at the time of his arrest.

A sheriff’s detective said at the time that a dispute over drug activity was a possible motive behind the slayings.

Nicholas had been paroled from state prison in January 1997. He had served seven years for battery with serious injury and battery of a non-prisoner while behind bars. Elmore also had spent 31/2 years in prison for second-degree robbery. He was released in January 1992 but returned three times for shorter terms on parole violations. He had been discharged from parole in November 1996.