Man Keeps girlfriend’s corpse in freezer, gets 4 years.

Stephen David Royds, the high-living drug dealer who kept his girlfriend’s corpse frozen in a 2-by-3-foot plastic bin at the Fairmont Newport Beach hotel for as long as a year, pleaded guilty Monday to drug charges and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Royds’ plea at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach closes the criminal case against him and leaves unresolved — perhaps forever — the question of why Monique Felicia Trepp, 33, a former stripper and waitress, was stashed in dry ice in the posh hotel room she’d shared with Royds.

Police investigated Royds after an informant reported buying cocaine from him at a Newport Beach bar called the Classic Q. During a search in March of Room 966 at the hotel where Royds lived, investigators said they found Trepp’s body, described as “moderately decomposed,” in a Rubbermaid container. They also found an electric reciprocating saw on the bed.

Royds became so distraught during the search that he had to be hospitalized.

An autopsy report showed that Trepp had died from an overdose of cocaine and alcohol. There was no evidence of trauma. Authorities said she showed no sign of defensive injuries and might have been dead for a year, and Royds was not a suspect in her death.

Police arrested Royds on suspicion of possession and sale of cocaine.

A 47-year-old New Zealand native, Royds was reportedly a champion-caliber skier who moved to the United States about 20 years ago to pursue the sport and eventually turned to dealing cocaine, authorities said.

Police say he had used several aliases, including “Mel Profitt,” the name of a high-living, drug-dealing character from the 1980s television drama “Wiseguy.”

On Monday, in what was originally scheduled to be a preliminary hearing in the case, Royds pleaded guilty to felony counts of transportation of cocaine and possession of cocaine for sale. He also admitted to a prior drug conviction.

The charges, coupled with a probation violation, otherwise might have brought him nine years in prison, said prosecutor Jeff Levy.

Levy speculated that Royds might have felt he was “stuck between a rock and a hard place” if he reported his girlfriend’s death, because a warrant was out for his arrest.

Royds’ plea requires him to register as a drug offender.

Royds declined an interview with The Times but told the Orange County Register previously that he’d preserved his girlfriend “for religious reasons.”

Story By LA Times 10/1/08

LA County Deputy Sheriff Charged with Sexual Assault, Mayhem and Torture.

After tricking his wife into introducing him to her lover, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy held the couple captive overnight at an Irvine apartment complex where he beat them, forced them to undress at knife point and ordered the woman to castrate her younger suitor, authorities alleged Wednesday.

Deputy Robert A. McClain then allegedly sodomized his wife and chopped off her hair with the knife, Orange County prosecutors said as they announced the filing of mayhem, torture and sexual assault charges against the 34-year-old ex-Marine who faces a potential life sentence if convicted.

Prosecutors said the nine-hour ordeal began about 10 p.m. Sunday when McClain’s wife told him she was leaving him for the younger man, whom she met while working in the leasing office of the apartment complex where he lives. McClain then used a ruse to persuade his 31-year-old wife to introduce him to the 23-year-old man, said Susan Kang Schroeder, a spokeswoman for Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas.

After arriving at the young man’s apartment, the deputy led the victims to a back kitchenette area in the nearby leasing office, where he started to argue with them and attack them, authorities said.

“McClain is accused of taking out a knife and forcing both victims to undress,” according to the district attorney’s statement. McClain, who also disrobed, “is accused of unsuccessfully ordering [his wife] to orally copulate both him and [the other man],” the statement added.

McClain then ordered his wife to castrate the younger man, and she “fearfully pretended to follow his instructions,” the statement said. Schroeder said there were several puncture wounds in the man’s groin area, including on his testicles.

After slashing the man’s face with the knife, prosecutors said, McClain fled the scene, forcing his wife to go with him.

McClain then forcibly sodomized his wife, chopped off her hair with the knife, and ultimately drove her back to their Irvine home, prosecutors allege. About 5 a.m. Monday, the wife was able to leave the house with her four children and drive to a nearby hospital to get treatment, authorities said.

A cleaning crew discovered the young man in the leasing office about two hours later and called 911.

The young man’s aunt, Nancy Smith, said she was stunned by what befell her nephew, an aspiring singer and songwriter who worked as a salesman at a Jos. A. Bank store in Orange County.

“I think my nephew came across pure evil,” she said in a telephone interview from Florida. “It is hard to believe that there is that much anger and hate in someone.”

The young man’s father said earlier this week that he had warned his son about getting involved with a married woman, but that he didn’t listen. The father, who visited his son in the hospital, said his son would require surgery for a “complete facial reconstruction.”

Both the young man and McClain’s wife remained hospitalized as of Wednesday afternoon.

The woman’s sister, who drove from Arizona to take care of the couple’s children, said they had been married for years and she knew of no previous trouble between them.

“I have always seen him as a good person. So this is very hard to believe. He adores his children. They were his life,” said the woman, who declined to provide her name as she spoke outside the couple’s Irvine home.

McClain, who worked as a guard at the county jail in downtown Los Angeles, resigned from the Sheriff’s Department Wednesday afternoon, said Steve Whitmore, a sheriff’s spokesman. McClain had not had any disciplinary problems since graduating from the Sheriff’s Academy in March, Whitmore said.

McClain suffered minor injuries in the attack and will be arraigned at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach when his medical treatment is completed, prosecutors said. He is being held in lieu of $1-million bail.

Story by L.A. Times Staff Writers 10/1/08