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Lakeport man convicted of killing neighbor in 2007 stabbing

  • Ivan Garcia Oliver (LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)

A Lake County jury on Thursday found Ivan Oliver guilty of first-degree murder for killing a neighbor he mistook for a convicted child molester.

Oliver had admitted stabbing Michael Dodele 65 times in November 2007 at a Lakeport mobile home park, but claimed it was in self-defense.

The jury also found Oliver, 34, guilty of a special allegation that he used information from the Megan's Law sex offender website to commit a felony, said Lake County Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, who prosecuted the case.

A confusing entry on the Megan's Law site led Oliver to believe Dodele, 67, was a child molester. Dodele, who was listed for being a serial rapist of adult women, served more than 20 years in prison for his crimes and had been released just a month before he was killed.

Oliver additionally was found guilty of first-degree burglary and special allegations that he used a knife to kill Dodele and that he had served a prior prison term, Hinchcliff said. Oliver had a prior conviction for stabbing a security guard who confronted him and friends after they left a Southern California restaurant without paying.

Oliver was found not guilty of elder abuse. The charge requires that a suspect know the victim is over the age of 65.

"I think the jury came to the right decision" on all the charges, Hinchcliff said.

At trial, Hinchcliff said Oliver stabbed Dodele in a frenzy of hatred of pedophiles. The force of the thrusts from a folding knife was sufficient to fracture several ribs and vertebrae, he noted.

Oliver's attorney, Stephen Carter, portrayed his client as a man who feared for his life and the safety of his son. Oliver believed Dodele had touched his son, he said.

Oliver testified at trial that Dodele tried to stab him after he confronted him about his son. He said he took the knife from Dodele and then, eyes closed, began blindly stabbing the victim out of fear.

Oliver faces 32 years to life in prison when he's sentenced later this month, Hinchcliff said.

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