Friday, February 5, 2010

Arrest Made In Death Of OR Tower

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of James Wightman, who was killed on Feb. 1 in the cab of his tow truck while at Manheim San Francisco Auto Auction. Here's the story from

Police arrested a 34-year-old California man today in a double homicide in the San Francisco Bay area involving a truck driver from Southern Oregon.
Karl George Sanft
Karl George Sanft, a 34-year-old from Union City, Calif., faces murder allegations in the killing of James Wightman, a 56-year-old truck driver from Central Point, and 63-year-old Angelito Erasquin, a security guard in Hayward, Calif.

They were found stabbed multiple times on Tuesday. Police said Wightman was found dead in the cab of his idling truck in the Manheim San Francisco Bay Auto Auction in Hayward. Erasquin, a security guard at the auto auction, was found dead near the entrance.

Police said Sanft was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of car theft. They said he later confessed to the murders. They said Sanft stabbed Erasquin while breaking into the yard to steal a car. They said evidence indicated that the suspect targeted Wightman as a witness.

James WightmanWightman, a father and grandfather, routinely delivered cars to the auction site, which covers 73 acres in Hayward

A former colleague described him as a jokester who would often kid with dispatchers, according to a story in the Medford Mail Tribune.

Sanft is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.

-- Lynne Terry

This is the story from Land Line Magazine about the incident:

OOIDA member stabbed to death in his tow truck

One of the two men who were stabbed to death at an auto auction lot in Hayward, CA, on Monday morning was an OOIDA member.

Police say 56-year-old James Wightman of Central Point, OR, was found in the cab of his tow truck with multiple stab wounds.

A 63-year-old uniformed security guard was also found dead near the entrance gate.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that Wightman has five children and had been trucking for 20 years. A co-worker describes him as “a jolly man.”

The manager of the tow company where he worked says Wightman made frequent trips to the auction lot to pick up or deliver cars – but on that Monday morning he was just catching some sleep in the lot.

Police aren’t discussing any possible motives – but say they have strong leads in the case.

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