The stabbing suspect who killed himself by jumping from a Highway 101 overpass in western Goleta earlier this week had been involved in a business dispute with his victim, according to Santa Barbara Superior Court records.
Thomas Hutchison Jr., 66, leaped from the Cathedral Oaks Road overpass about 4:15 a.m. Monday, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
About 15 minutes earlier, deputies responded to the 600 block of Mayrum Street and found Rubel Trevino, 56, who had been stabbed multiple times, Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said.
Trevino told deputies that his business partner, Hutchison, had broken into his residence, attacked him while he was sleeping, then fled the scene, Hoover said.
A short time later, deputies responded to the report of someone attempting to jump from the freeway overpass. When they arrived to make contact with the man, he leaped to the road below and was pronounced dead at the scene, Hoover said.
Hutchison, Trevino and Frederick Gallagher, another local man, were all partners in a limited liability company called About the Children, according to court records.
Hutchison filed a complaint in Superior Court against his two partners in July, claiming breach of contract and fraud. He asked for damages and dissolution of the company, but the case was dismissed by his attorney in November after settlement talks.
Hutchison alleged that the three men had signed a partnership agreement in February 2009, and another in December 2009, which included the clause: “Financial, corporate, legal decisions made by either three or at least two members of About the Children LLC.”
The agreements stated that all three men would equally own the company, yet this clause meant two could make major decisions, his complaint argued.
Trevino and Gallagher excluded Hutchison from management, an equal share of the profits and blocked him out of all records and accounts, the complaint alleges.
Hutchison’s home was used as the business’s office for 14 months and he contributed $3,000 as startup money, according to the complaint.
The complaint was filed in July and the attorneys started discussing a settlement in October, according to court records.
In November, Hutchison’s attorney filed a request for dismissal of the lawsuit.