Lompoc Man Pleads Guilty to Murder of Girlfriend

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Source: Santa Barbara County District Attorney

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that Brenden Michael Terry, 21, of Lompoc, California, pled guilty to murder, in violation of Penal Code section 187, and three counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, in violation of Penal Code section 245(a)(4).  He also admitted a special allegation that he personally used a firearm in the commission of the murder, in violation of Penal Code section 12022.5(a).

The charges stemmed from the March 25, 2020 shooting death of his girlfriend Sarah Stoffle, 18, also of Lompoc, California.  

Mr. Terry appeared via Zoom, in Lompoc Superior Court Department 1, as did all other parties and family members of the victim and defendant.  During the hearing, Angelica Stoffle, Sarah’s mother, described her daughter as “Such a beautiful person; she was smart, kindhearted, funny, caring and was loved by so many people.  She could make the grumpiest person smile and laugh with her light-heartedness.  We will forever miss her.”  

District Attorney Joyce Dudley stated, “This tragic crime has left so many victims in its wake, as is so often the case with domestic violence homicides and other cases of intimate partner abuse.  Here, a life sentence for the murder Mr. Terry committed will never placate or heal her devastated family, but it is the appropriate disposition to this horrible crime.  Special thanks to Senior Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Schoenburg and District Attorney Investigator Dan McGrew.”

At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Montes De Oca sentenced Mr. Terry to 28 years to life in prison.  

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