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Laguna Beach

Police Files

Convicted killer charged a second time for brutal 1978 murder of Laguna man 

Walter Lawrence Dalie, a 60-year-old convicted killer, was charged for a second time for the brutal 1978 murder of Laguna Beach resident Brent Stapleton Tobey. On Monday, March 4, he pleaded not guilty to charges that were previously dismissed by prosecutors on August 18, 2015.

According to Rebecca Moss, Public Affairs Specialist, OC District Attorney’s Office, “Dalie is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 19, in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach. He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to all charges on March 4.” 

According to the criminal complaint, Dalie is charged with one count of murder “with malice and aforethought” and two sentencing enhancements for murder during the commission of a robbery, and for “personally using a knife as a dangerous and deadly weapon,” in the commission of murder.

Police Files Dalie

Courtesy of OCDA

Walter Dalie was 19 years old in 1978 when local architect Brent Tobey was brutally murdered

Tobey, a prominent local architect, 55 at the time of his death, was stabbed 17 times in the back, head, and chest on November 20, 1978.

The original 2011 case against Dalie was dismissed in part by prosecutors because two critical witnesses had died since a preliminary hearing in the Tobey killing. And at the time, the Orange County Crime Lab was unable to conduct a detailed forensic analysis of evidence from the crime scene.

The day of his murder, Tobey and a friend, who lived nearby, had plans to have dinner together to celebrate the conviction of local James Scramlin for the 1977 murder of their friend Albert Willard. The two friends had found Willard’s dead body in his home.

With not enough to go on, the case went cold. Unsolved for 33 years, it wasn’t until 2002 that the OC Crime Lab found another person’s DNA on Tobey’s clothes. In 2010, they learned that it matched Dalie’s DNA.

When the DNA match was found, Dalie was serving a 50-year prison sentence in Connecticut for the murder of his girlfriend in 1985 with a hammer. With the new DNA evidence LBPD reopened the case.

At the time of the murder, Dalie was 19 and working as a gardener in Laguna Beach and lived in Newport.

Dailie grew up in nearby Dana Point and was a graduate from Dana Hills High School.

Moss said, “No further details about this case will be available until they are presented in court.”

Man arrested twice in four hours for trespassing at same location

On Sunday, March 3, at 8:33 a.m., LBPD officers responded to Stop N Go, 1390 N Coast Hwy, in reference to a man refusing to leave the property.

According to police reports, the caller stated that customers were afraid of the man and that they requested the clerk walk outside with them.

 “Officers made several attempts to persuade Ira Britton to leave the property, however he still refused and was subsequently arrested for trespassing and released after the booking process at LBPD,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “At 12:21 p.m., Ira Britton returned to Stop N Go and continued to trespass and refused to leave. He was arrested again and transported to OCJ.”

Ira Lloyd Britton, 41, of Huntington Beach, was arrested for trespassing. Bail was set at $500.


Male allegedly disrobes and exposes self at beach

On Tuesday, March 5, at 11:49 a.m., LBPD officers responded to Table Rock Beach following reports of a male allegedly disrobing and exposing himself to beach goers.

“The subject approached women asking if they wanted him to rub lotion on them, then asked another group of girls if they wished to be in a porn movie with him,” LBPD Sgt Cota said. “The subject was contacted near the beach and cited for public nudity.”

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