Death of Palmdale Man Ruled a Suicide

Death of Palmdale Man Ruled a Suicide 900 510 SIB Staff

Death of Palmdale Man Ruled a Suicide

Press Conference: Sheriff Villanueva and Sheriff’s Officials to Discuss Robert Fuller Death Investigation

Sheriff Villanueva and Sheriff’s officials will further discuss the circumstances surrounding the Robert Fuller death investigation.

Posted by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Thursday, July 9, 2020

Sheriff Alex Villanueva called a press conference today, Thursday, July 9, 2020, to announce the latest findings in the circumstances surrounding the death of Robert Fuller, who was found hanging from a tree in Palmdale.  Mr. Fuller’s body was discovered in the early morning hours of Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in the 38300 block of 9th Street East, Palmdale.  He was 24 years old.

From the beginning of the investigation, Sheriff Villanueva assured the decedent’s family and the public a thorough and objective investigation would be conducted, with the cooperation of representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice Attorney General’s office. 

Commander Chris Marks, who oversees Detective Division and Homicide Bureau, provided a timeline of events in the investigation, the steps detectives took, the information they gathered, and the factual culmination of their results.  Based upon many components of the investigation including:  Evidence collected at the scene, the calculation of physical logistics at the scene, evidence collected at supplemental locations, scientific results, autopsy results, mental health and medical records, clinically-documented statements of suicidal intent made by the patient, information from the family, and the lack of evidence of involvement by a third party, The Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner determined that Robert Fuller’s death was a suicide by hanging, and published that report.

The Sheriff offered his condolences to the Fuller family for the loss of their son, and called upon the Board of Supervisors for proper funding of mental health treatment centers, which often run overcrowded, underfunded and without enough resources.

Because of the current civic climate and in the wake of civil unrest across the nation, the manner of Robert Fuller’s death raised many questions.  Many demanded answers right away, however, this type of investigation takes time and methodical, documented processing.  “Because the people are demanding answers immediately,” said Sheriff Villanueva, “doesn’t mean we get to skip processes.”  Skipping steps and rushing to judgement to satisfy outside pressure can easily compromise the truth.  “The only pressure we should satisfy is the truth,” said the Sheriff.

Chief Laura E. Lecrivain has been a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (Department) since 1995.  She oversees Countywide Services Division which includes the Community Partnerships, Community Colleges, Parks, and County Services Bureau.  Prior to her promotion to chief, she worked as a commander for Countywide Services Division and Custody Division. 

As a captain, Chief Lecrivain commanded the Twin Towers Correctional Facility (TTCF) where she was responsible for over 800 personnel and the care of 3,000 mentally ill inmates arrested in Los Angeles County (County).  The TTCF is the largest mental health facility in the United States and houses the County’s most severe mental health inmates.  

During her time on the Department, Chief Lecrivain had the privilege of working an array of assignments.  As a deputy, she worked Century Station patrol, detective bureau, and Operation Safe Streets (OSS).  Later, as a sergeant, Chief Lecrivain worked at the Men’s Central Jail, Compton Station, OSS, and Administrative Services Division.  Upon her promotion to lieutenant, Chief Lecrivain worked as a watch commander at Palmdale Station, and later at Compton Station.   

Chief Lecrivain is lifetime resident of Los Angeles County.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management, and a Masters’ Degree in Leadership from the University of Southern California.  In her spare time, Chief Lecrivain enjoys spending time with her family and Dodger baseball.  She also loves reading and enjoys running.