Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Hoyt’

Most if not all of our lives are spent in states of spiritual unconsciousness. We grow up with little clue as to the true nature of our realities. We don’t understand who we are, or what our abilities might truly consist of. We really don’t. We believe we are in control, and we battle to control what little we have control over, until finally we realize we really aren’t in control of anything. And this generates much pain and suffering and sadness and anger and regret, and we take that and we aim it at others only to have it boomerang right back at us, and ruin the very existence we were trying to improve in the first place.

When I was a kid, I experienced all of this unconsciousness just like Larry King and Brandon McInerney did. I battled through unconscious existence with most of my friends and family. Only, unlike Larry, I survived my unconscious childhood, barely. Before his tragic demise, Larry had suffered so much pain at such a difficult time in his life. He was fifteen, battling everyone and everything to understand who he thought he might be, and he battled for acceptance in his very home for the very same reason, and he lost that battle too.

Same with William McInerney. His lack of consciousness haunted him until his 47th year when it stole his life through a thick fog of booze and opiates and blunt trauma to the head. But not before this man showered his world with violence in temper and hateful, angry thoughts. His emotions raged out of control. He shot and abused his wife. He sired a child and raised him as best he could, which meant spreading his violent lack of consciousness through his offspring.

Nicholas Markowitz was riding the unconscious highway to extinction before reaching his sixteenth birthday. He was upset at being unable to live life as he saw fit. He battled to control who he was, and what he wanted out of life. Same for his brother Ben, whose unconscious spiral through drugs and violence and alcohol toward his own aborted death instead triggered the chain of events that led to his brother’s murder, and the near destruction of his family, all in the name of unconsciousness. Ben’s chief antagonist, Jesse James Hollywood, and all those who went down with him in a hail of bullets and prison and destruction, guys like Ryan Hoyt, Jesse Rugge, William Skidmore, and Graham Pressley, also spent their entire lives in unconscious states.


Unconsciousness also landed Tyler Edmonds in prison for five of the most precious years of his life, from 13 to eighteen years of age. And you know what? Tyler will never get those years back, one of the sad costs of unconsciousness. Through his ordeal, however, Tyler did gain something even more important. Something that’ll help him survive and probably even thrive during these very difficult times in life. It’s called awareness. Tyler has become aware of who he is, and he has awakened to his very presence. He has begun to understand that this moment, right here and right now, as it stands in his life, is all he’s got. It’s all any of us ever really have, although most of us don’t realize it yet.

When I speak of unconsciousness, I’m talking about a condition that affects us all at some point in our lives, and most of us throughout. We are born into the Garden of Eden, so to speak. As children, we are but reflections of the Kingdom of God. Our minds do not run incessantly, tormented with anger and hatred and stress and anxiety from thoughts and obsessions with past and future times that we have no control over. As a child, our negative emotional body has generally not developed enough to take over and control our every thought and move. Our egoic mind has not formed enough to try to control what is not controllable, segregate us from all that is, and fill everything we do with a negativity that will paint an unfortunate reality around us. It takes time to develop these negative, conditioned qualities.

As young children, most of us have not yet been conditioned away from our natural state of Being, this connection to the Divine, this God consciousness. Yet, with a little time spent with dysfunctional parents, controlling government, manipulative religion, and a null-and-void educational system, we begin to identify ourselves as separate from others. We believe we are different. We watch too much media, play too many video games, and assume every act in life can be redone through a reset button. We are socially conditioned to judge and label and build prejudices against certain colors, looks, and ways of life. This is ego out of control. This is unconsciousness at its most powerful and negative influence. This is who we are. This is how most of us run our lives on a daily basis, through ego-driven unconsciousness. This is how I spent many years of my life, and so did you, whether you want to admit it or not. And you probably still are right now as you read this.

The conditioning we are raised with colors everything we do. It taints what should be our unadulterated appreciation for everything that surrounds us at all times. It makes us want to be somewhere else or someone else, or hate or envy others for very selfish reasons. I was lucky. I found a crack in my dark existence that peeled away to light and I’m now able to write about these experiences. I survived my difficult time as a child, and now I can write about those experiences as well. Guys like Larry, Brandon, William, Nick, Ben, Jesse, and Ryan, however, never really had the chance to see themselves in this light. They were operating in a world of darkness where family and friends were wearing unconscious blinders along with them, and nobody could show anybody how to act or where the light was because no one could see it. That’s why they’re all in prison, now…and worse.


There used to be a joke running around the office that said there’s a fine line between a lawyer and a liar. The same could be said about the fine line of unconsciousness between victims and their perpetrators. The negative pull from one attracts the negative emission from the other like moths to a light. The negative energy from one feeds the negative body inside the other, which grows with negativity, causing us to do things we never would if we had a clue to our conscious abilities. Consciousness begets consciousness. And in the same light, or shadow, unconsciousness breeds its like energies. If these unconscious patterns go undetected, they can be passed down from one generation to the next, with the unconsciousness seemingly growing greater and greater until crisis destroys the victim, or helps to stir them awake. This is where Tyler Edmonds finds himself now. Awakened to the reality that peace and love do not exist from operating through a perpetually negative emotional state. Awakened to the understanding that the energy he generates now through thought and emotion and sensory perception – his present consciousness – will continue to feed his ultimate reality.

Tyler will never find himself in legal trouble again because of this newfound awakened state. And this is what I pray we can accomplish with each and every unconscious person who we find spinning out of control in a world filled with anger and hatred. People like Tyler Edmonds will prove to one and all that all it takes is a little time and effort to transform oneself. It’s a process, not a quick fix. And it’s never too late to start. This begins by putting the past behind us, as Tyler has done. It continues by never worrying about what might take place in a future we have no control over. This is when we begin to realize that all we have, for better or worse, is what we’ve generated for ourselves right at this moment. And now’s the time to be grateful for all that is. To set aside conditioned reactive patterns that generate negative personal reality. Become the change that we want to witness around us. And this can be done for all of us, at any time, right now.

I found this very interesting piece in the Santa Barbara-Goleta that I thought you might be interested in. I wonder if this means that the attorneys don’t want me to publish the medical records that they’re talking about, that Santa Barbara County Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen gave to me way back when Alpha Dog was just a gleam in everyone’s eye.

I thought it was also interesting that the media is still playing up the false motivation and characterization that Mr. Zonen and fellow law enforcement officials dreamed up with the media in their efforts to demonize Hollywood and his fellow co-defendants. That’s why I had to write Stolen Boy, to set the recored straight. What do you think?

Co-defendant Jesse James Hollywood is accused of ordering the 2000 shooting of the 15-year-old

Judge Brian Hill on Thursday refused to seal the medical papers of Ryan Hoyt, Jesse James Hollywood’s co-defendant and the confessed triggerman who shot 15-year-old Nicholas Markowitz in 2000.

Markowitz was shot in a feud over drug money, and his body was found in the hills outside of Santa Barbara. Hoyt is on death row.

According to Hoyt’s attorney, the papers should be sealed because his confession could have been made under duress, and because Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen, who was on the case at the time, “gave the material to the world” by giving the information to screenwriter Michael Mehas, who co-authored Alpha Dog, the 2006 film that is based on the Markowitz murder.

Hill, however, granted a protective order on the records, meaning in this case that the attorneys for the prosecution and the defense – including Hollywood attorney James Blatt, who may have gotten access to the records – could use them but not divulge any information to third parties or the media. Hill also allowed that experts hired for Hollywood’s upcoming trial could view the records.

Hollywood is the alleged mastermind behind a drug ring that started in the San Fernando Valley. When Markowitz’s older half brother, one of Hollywood’s associates, didn’t pay money he owed Hollywood, a group including Hoyt, Jesse Rugge, William Skidmore and Graham Pressley came to Santa Barbara and kidnapped and shot Markowitz. Hollywood was not present at the crime scene but was said to have ordered the murder.

Hollywood’s trial is tentatively set for February 19th.

People continue to ask questions regarding which characters from Stolen Boy match up with which characters and actors from Alpha Dog. The chart below should help.





Stolen Boy

Alpha Dog     


Mickey Youngblood

Johnny Truelove

Emile Hirsch

Dick Youngblood

Sonny Truelove

Bruce Willis

Luke Ridnaur           

Frankie “Nuts” Ballenbacher

Justin Timberlake

Bart Prey

Elvis Schmidt 

Shawn Hatosy

Bobby Leblanc

Zach Mazursky

Anton Yelchin

Rick Leblanc

Jake Mazursky

Ben Foster    

Max Leblanc

Butch Mazursky

David Thornton

Sharon Leblanc

Olivia Mazursky

Sharon Stone

Vegas Parsons

Keith Stratton

Chris Marquette

John Barbados

Tiko “TKO” Martinez

Fernando Vargas

Hank Zitelli

Bobby “911” Kaye

Alex Solowitz

Denver Mattson

Cosmo Gadabeeti

Harry Dean Stanton

Rosy Kinski

Susan Hartunian

Dominique Swain

Nicole Babbette

Angela Holden

Olivia Wilde

Jasmine Violeta

Wanda Haynes

Heather Wahlquist

Once defense attorney James Blatt had become familiar with the types of materials Michael Mehas had received, he asked the author to acknowledge all the information in an affidavit to the court. Mr. Blatt planned to go after Ron Zonen for supplying his file to Michael for the purposes of making a film and book, and he wanted the entire Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office recused from the case. The California Attorney General’s office would then step in to prosecute in place of the DA, and Blatt no doubt harbored the feeling that the AG would be more willing to deal the case than the District Attorney’s office had been. The Santa Barbara DA had offered Hollywood nothing but death penalty by trial. There would be less political pressure on the Attorney General to pursue death against Hollywood.

Ron Zonen, on the other hand, was tied to the hip with the Markowitz family. He had previously pursued Hollywood’s four co-defendants with vigor and was hellbent on bringing death to Jesse on behalf of the victim’s family, just as he had previously done to Ryan Hoyt. Yet, Michael remained apprehensive about providing Blatt the affidavit he sought. Michael had realized that he was the only witness who could testify about what information Ron Zonen had provided, because the author was the only one outside the DA’s office who had direct access to their file. The information Michael garnered was then used as the basis for the stories behind the book and movie.

If Michael said nothing, however, and provided no information, Hollywood’s lawyer would have a nearly impossible task in proving what all materials Zonen had provided to the film people, and Hollywood’s defense would suffer a major setback against the Santa Barbara prosecuting machinery. Feeling internal division over breaching his self-imposed confidentiality of what he received from the DA, Michael phoned Ron Zonen and told him about his conversations with Hollywood’s attorney, including Blatt’s desire to get an affidavit from him. The phone drew silent for an interminable period of time. To say the Senior Deputy District Attorney had seemed distressed with Michael’s proclamations would be a gross understatement.

To be continued…

Ryan Hoyt had never been arrested before this case, and during the preparation for his death penalty trial his lawyers worked up a psychological evaluation wherein Ryan made the following statements: “(Jesse) Hollywood (is) one of my best friends in the world. (He) done a lot for me. (My) family (never) did anything. Never had too much family. That was family to me. Mom, Dad, his little brother. He paid off parking tickets, a lot. He covered the ‘bone headed shit’ I did. Needed a place to stay, he would take me in.”

At another point, Hoyt said, “I needed something that I was not getting at home. Trust, vindication, acceptance, acknowledgement. Jesse gave that.” Hoyt’s doctor then concluded in part that Ryan’s “personality features of dependency, neediness, fear of disapproval, submission to authority, presence of dissociation for a defense mechanism, and chronic depression with drug abuse make a credible explanation for a false confession, but they make even a better argument for excessive compliance and submissiveness based on fear of abandonment recapitulating his early life reality. That would have been something he could not bear to face.”

Upon reading this Michael began to wonder aloud whether such a dependence upon someone might cause a young man to unilaterally commit a crime to protect the source of his dependence. In other words: Was it possible that Ryan Hoyt acted alone, committing the crime out of his desire to keep Jesse Hollywood from getting into trouble for the kidnapping, which would have resulted in life in prison for Jesse, and destroyed the only real home or family Ryan Hoyt ever knew? It was a complex question, one that Hollywood’s lawyer needed to ask, and Michael wondered if James Blatt had ever asked it. When queried, Mr. Blatt said he had not.

He also said that he never received from the prosecutor any of Ryan Hoyt’s psychological records, from which Michael derived his information. This was not surprising, since Mr. Zonen had most probably considered Hoyt’s psychological records to be nothing more than rubbish and thus immaterial to Hollywood’s defense. As a journalist, Michael Mehas had gained the privilege of searching through the prosecutor’s entire file regarding the prosecution of Hollywood’s four co-defendants. No defense attorney would ever be granted such a privilege. He could expect to receive what the prosecutor, in his professional opinion, deemed relevant to his client’s defense, which is exactly what Mr. Blatt got, until his conversation with Michael.

To be continued…

As a criminal defense attorney who had objectively reviewed the state of evidence against Jesse James Hollywood, Michael Mehas knew he had no legal obligation to reveal the information he possessed to anyone, especially the defense in the Hollywood case. It was the moral obligation that split his insides. When putting the story together, Michael had formed certain opinions about Hollywood and his potential defense against the death penalty. But Michael had found himself unable to share those opinions with anyone without violating certain personal confidences, one of them being with Ron Zonen.

On the one hand, the Santa Barbara County Senior Deputy District Attorney had been as thoughtful and cooperative as anyone in aiding Michael’s research. Yet, the fact that Mr. Zonen was attempting to prosecute Hollywood to death affected things dramatically. If Michael chose to express his opinions to Mr. Blatt, the information he supplied might actually be used to help save Jesse’s life. But it could also be used as evidence to help prosecute the Senior Deputy DA for prosecutorial misconduct.

If the author remained silent, however, and Hollywood was convicted and sentenced to death, and it turned out that Michael might have been able to help avoid that fatal end result, he never would have been able to live with himself. That’s why he agreed to answer James Blatt’s questions in the first place. And that’s why he told the defense attorney about the statements made by Hollywood’s co-defendant and admitted shooter, Ryan Hoyt…

To be continued….

In early 2006, Michael brought his own lawyer to court with him and testified for a second time before Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Brian Hill. With Jesse Hollywood’s supporters and curious observers filling one side of the gallery, and the Markowitz family and friends and press members encamped on the other, Blatt chipped away at every piece of evidence the nervous witness might ever have known about. Hours later, when he had finished the examination, Mr. Blatt asked the court to order Michael Mehas to turn over to the court his 239-page story chronology, his book, his character profiles, and much more. This time, however, with the help of some strong argument from the author’s attorney, the judge denied Mr. Blatt’s request. And Michael was finally free to finish his book.

At the time, Michael had felt manipulated by Hollywood’s attorney. He was annoyed at being misled. He resented being dragged into the middle of Hollywood’s death penalty case. He did agree to answer some of Blatt’s questions, but he had never agreed to turn over any of his materials. Michael just wanted Hollywood’s attorney to be aware of the legal issues regarding the evidence that he knew existed. But Mehas understood why Blatt did what he did. Why he put so much legal pressure on the author. Everything James Blatt does in the case is with the idea of saving Jesse Hollywood’s life. The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office and Nick Markowitz’s family have but one collective thought on their minds regarding this case: to bring death to Jesse Hollywood. James Blatt poses Jesse’s last line of defense to that very real threat. Just ask Ryan Hoyt what that’s like. There is no one else standing between Jesse and the death sentence. Blatt has no choice but to cover all the legal bases to prevent his client from dying. Hollywood’s lawyer has a case filled with issues of first impression. Jesse’s case already has and will continue to set legal precedent in diverse areas of the law. This case will continue to be talked about in legal circles everywhere due to the many unique aspects of law it has touched upon. That’s why men like James Blatt do what they do. And why men like Michael Mehas need to learn how to better dodge the legal freight train when searching for more information for their books.   

To be continued….