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By Nashelly Chavez and Bill Lindelof
A Placer County woman was slain Wednesday in her garage, and her suspected killer — a man accused earlier of stalking her — fatally shot himself after fleeing nearly 100 miles on Interstate 80.
Renee Sue O’Neal, a 35-year-old mother of twin boys, was found dead that morning in a car in the garage of her home in Lincoln, north of Rocklin, Lincoln Police Chief Doug Lee said Thursday. Police had been called to the scene by a witness who reported hearing possible gunshots around 8:20 a.m. and then seeing a man flee in a white Hyundai.
The witness said he recognized the man as Jerrod Devery Hill, 31, of El Dorado Hills, the subject of a restraining order requested by the victim.
After Hill’s car was sighted Wednesday on Interstate 80 near Truckee — almost 100 miles from the crime scene — law enforcement officers deployed spike strips in an attempt to stop him. Some of the vehicle’s tires were damaged, bringing it to a stop on the interstate near Hirschdale Road, 7 miles east of Truckee. When officers approached the car, they found the driver dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
Both O’Neal and Hill were identified Thursday by coroner’s offices in Placer and Nevada counties.
Hill had been charged with felony stalking in January and had entered a no-contest plea in April, Sacramento County Superior Court records show. He was to be sentenced on Thursday. He had also been charged at the same time with two counts of alleged burglary and one of petty theft.
The criminal complaint filed in the Sacramento County case alleges Hill entered the residence of someone referred to as Renee Doe and another woman, with the intent of stealing belongings on July 19, July 20 and again on Oct. 3.
The files also say Hill repeatedly harassed Renee Doe during that time, making credible threats that would cause her to have a reasonable fear for her safety and the safety of her family.
Lee, the police chief, said he did not know when the restraining order was granted, and whether it stemmed from a previous romantic relationship or friendship between the two — but court documents in the stalking case referred to a “previous girlfriend.”
Those documents include a move by prosecutors to bar Hill from using his California chiropractic license, saying, “A licensed chiropractor holds a position of trust with his employer and consumers. Here, Defendant has shown, by his act of burglary, stalking, and theft against his previous girlfriend, that continuing to allow him access to patients in this position of trust is contrary to the best interests in the public.”
Rachell Walker, a neighbor living in the newly developed neighborhood near Lincoln’s airport, said O’Neal moved to the home on Lincoln Airpark Road a few months before the shooting and was a mother to two elementary school twin boys.
A message Thursday from a Facebook page under O’Neal’s name said the family did not wish to speak about the case. “Her family has requested privacy and for us not to speak to the press at this time. As you can see we are all trying to make sense out (of) the impossible,” it said.
The Board of Chiropractic Examiners’ website lists Hill as having worked at Back to Health Chiropractic, Simms Family Care, in El Dorado Hills. A cached version of the chiropractic office’s website says Hill studied at the Southern California University of Health Sciences. Hill graduated in April 2012 and was his class’s valedictorian. He went on to earn a master’s degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, according to the website.
Hill’s chiropractic license expired at the end of March and a disciplinary action dated April 3 was listed under his name, the Board of Chiropractic Examiners website showed.
—2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)
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