Jamon Buggs has been identified as the suspect arrested in the double murder of a former professional hockey player and the CEO of a nonprofit that helps advocate for children in the family court system. Darren Partch and Wendi Miller were found dead on April 21 in Partch’s Newport Beach, California, apartment, authorities say.
Jamon Rayon Buggs, a 44-year-old Huntington Beach resident, was arrested April 25 and charged with double murder, the Newport Beach Police Department said in a press release. Buggs was already in custody at the Orange County Jail at the time of his arrest on the new murder charges in connection to an unrelated case involving the Irvine Police Department, according to the press release.
“This is an open and ongoing investigation and no additional details are available at this time,” the Newport Beach Police said. “Anyone with information regarding this case or with information on the recent activities and whereabouts of Jamon Rayon Buggs prior to his arrest should contact Detective Rick Henry at 949-644-3797.”
Buggs is a personal trainer and lifestyle coach in Orange County, according to his social media profiles. Buggs has a felony record, according to Irvine Police. A motive for the killings has not been released and police have not said if Buggs knew either of the victims.
Police did not say how Partch and Miller were killed, but Miller’s son, Luke Carpenter, wrote in a Facebook post, “She had been shot and it was told to us that she did not suffer.”
Partch, 38, and Miller, a 48-year-old Costa Mesa resident, were reported missing after they were last seen leaving a bar together in Laguna Beach on April 20. Their bodies were found by Partch’s roommate, according to police. Miller, a mother of two, was the CEO of Wings for Justice and was a psychologist. Partch, a marketing company executive, was a California native who played prep school hockey in Canada and then at Plattsburgh State in New York before a pro hockey career for several minor league teams from 1999 to 2005.
Here’s what you need to know about Jamon Buggs and the murders of Darren Partch and Wendi Miller:
1. Jamon Buggs Was Arrested by the Irvine Police Department on April 22 in Connection to a Series of Attempted Burglaries There & for Firing a Gun Into a Residence, Police Say
Jamon Buggs was arrested on April 22 in Irvine, California, a day after Wendi Miller and Darren Partch were found dead, in Newport Beach, the Irvine Police Department said in a press release. Police said Buggs was suspected of a series of attempted burglaries. According to police, Buggs fired a bullet into a residence when he was spotted by someone who lived there.
Police said the attempted residential burglaries occurred April 20 and April 21.
“The first attempted burglary occurred Saturday, April 20 at 11:35 p.m. and was interrupted by the resident who heard a noise on their second story balcony. The suspect was scared off after being seen and while fleeing, fired a single round from a handgun which lodged into the exterior of the residence,” Irvine Police said. “A second attempted burglary occurred Sunday, April 21 at 5:00 a.m. This attempt was reported later in the afternoon when the resident reviewed home surveillance video and saw the suspect had attempted to open the front door. No entry was made and the suspect immediately left the area on foot.”
According to Irvine Police, detectives were conducting surveillance about 12:15 a.m. on April 22 in the neighborhood where the previous attempted burglaries occurred and observed a suspicious vehicle.
“Officers attempted to stop the vehicle and a short pursuit ensued into an adjacent neighborhood. The suspect abandoned his vehicle after a minor collision with a parked car and ran into a nearby backyard,” police said. “With the assistance of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Anaheim Police Department helicopters, officers were able to contain the suspect and evacuate the impacted residents. At some point during the event the suspect broke into an unoccupied home. The Irvine Police SWAT team ultimately responded to assist in apprehending the suspec. At approximately 4:00 a.m., the suspect ran from the home in an attempt to flee and was detained by officers without incident.”
Buggs has been held at the Orange County Jail since then and his bail has now been set at $1 million. Buggs was charged in that case with attempted burglary, shooting into an inhabited dwelling, possession of a firearm by a felon, hit-and-run and evading police. He is scheduled to appear in court on May 1.
It is not clear when and how police connected Buggs to the double homicide in Newport Beach. Partch and Miller were found dead in the 2100 Block of East 15th Street in Newport Beach on Easter Sunday about 9:30 p.m. But it is not clear when they were killed.
In a press release announcing Buggs’ arrest, Newport Beach Police said the department, “would like to thank our law enforcement partners, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Orange County Crime Lab, Irvine Police Department, Laguna Beach Police Department, Costa Mesa Police Department, Santa Ana Police Department, and Anaheim Police Department for their assistance with this investigation.”
2. He Has a Previous Criminal Record That Includes a Domestic Violence Arrest & He Is a Convicted Felon, Police Say
According to the Irvine Police Department, Buggs is a convicted felon. Online records show that he was previously charged with domestic battery.
According to Orange County court records, Buggs was already a felon in 1996 when he was arrested on September 1 and charged with felony vandalism causing damage of between $5,000 to $50,000, possession of a firearm by a felon, taking property from another and brandishing a firearm. He pleaded guilty to those charges. He was sentenced to 32 months in state prison and one year in jail.
In 2017, Buggs was charged with driving without a license and in 2018 he was cited for not having both front and rear license plates. In January 2019, Buggs was the target of a restraining order related to domestic violence.
In 2014, Buggs was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and reckless driving in Riverside County. He was sentenced to probation and two days in jail.
Buggs was twice arrested in San Diego County, in 1994 and in 2000, but details of those cases were not immediately available. Fresno County court records show that Buggs has been divorced since 2011 and has children with his ex-wife.
3. Buggs Is the Founder of a Personal Training Company Called ‘DO IT AGAIN !9’
Jamn Buggs is the founder of a personal training company called “DO IT AGAIN !9,” according to his Linkedin profile.
He wrote on Linkedin, “Jamon specializes in designing training programs for Clients individual goals. I evaluate strength, balance, flexibility, and cardio which is incorporated in the design. In addition to Jamon’s Success as a performance enhancement specialist for DO IT AGAIN !9 Sports Training Jamon is the Founder of DO IT AGAIN !9 Sports Training and Model for the company. DO IT AGAIN !9 is a proven performance enhancement training that is based on psychological training programs.
He added, “Jamon developed and teaches the three areas for Success mental, physical, and spiritual an incredibly powerful set of tools that will unleash the highest levels of performance capabilities of every individual. Unable to contain his enthusiasm, he says “These priceless tools will help you obtain your goals in any area of life.”
He previously worked as a manager at LA Fitness and has also worked at Equinox Huntington Beach
and Gold’s Gym, according to his Facebook page.
4. Buggs Played College Football at Arizona Western Collegee
Jamon Buggs was a standout running back on his high school football team at San Pasqual High in Escondido, California, in the early 1990s. Buggs then attended Arizona Western College, where he played football and studied business and physical training.
Buggs has also competed in bodybuilding contests.
5. Partch Was Remembered as a ‘Great Guy,’ While Miller’s Son Said in a Facebook Post, ‘She Was Loved on Earth & I’m Happy That She Gets to Be Loved in Heaven’
Darren Partch’s friend, James Kwast, told ABC Los Angeles that Partch was a “great guy. . My first interaction with him, he was very calming, he’s very likable.” He said Partch and Miller “hit it off.”
Miller’s son wrote in a Facebook post, “I have no doubt in my mind that she was loved on earth and I’m happy that she gets to be loved even better in heaven. I love you mom.”
Wendi Miller’s profile on Wings for Justice’s official website details that she was a licensed psychologist in Michigan and in California. Miller had been working with children, couples and families for over 12 years. During her life, Miller published two books, “Betrayed Vows” and “The Care Point Training Manual for Facilitators of Support Groups.”