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Man gets life prison sentence for brutal double murders in Morro Bay more than two decades ago

Tim Hufner

Killer was deemed incompetent to stand trial in 2001, but years later was declared fit to face prosecution.

A man has been sentenced to life in the prison without the possibility of parole for an attack on the Central Coast more than two decades ago which left two people dead.

In July of 2001, Stephen Arthur Deflaun shot to death Stephen Donahue Wells and 11-year-old Jerry Rios, Jr. at Morro Bay State Park Campground.

The campground was full. The 11-year-old boy along with a friend asked Deflaun if he was going to be staying overnight.

Prosecutors say the man threatened the boys. Wells and Rios went to report the incident to a park ranger. Deflaun followed the two, and shot them to death. A park ranger then shot and wounded Deflaun.

A court declared him incompetent to stand trial. But 20 years later, Deflaun was declared competent. The now 64-year-old man was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, as well as assault on a peace officer.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.