Santa Rosa man identified as second victim in Forestville double slaying
Authorities Tuesday released the identity of a second man killed late last week near an illegal pot grow outside Forestville, while the families of both men grappled with speculation surrounding what happened.
Thomas William Miller, 46, of Santa Rosa, died at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Saturday night, more than 24 hours after being shot Friday evening near the intersection of River Road and Trenton-Healdsburg Road.
Miller had been shot in the side of his head above his left ear, his daughter Brianna McAlvain, 23, said. He never gained consciousness and was declared brain dead at 8:54 p.m. and pulled from life support, she said.
His friend, Theros “T” Fountaine, 46, of Santa Rosa, had been pronounced dead at the scene of the 6:40 p.m. shooting.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office led a large-scale search for suspects immediately after the shooting, called in to 911 by a jogger who heard gunshots and screams. Authorities have not disclosed the status of their investigation, the exact location of the shooting or why Miller and Fountaine were in that rural stretch of vineyards and cornfields by Mark West River.
The Sheriff’s Office did say that the marijuana grow in the area was illegal and suspects the slayings are related to it.
Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Spencer Crum said the property did not belong to either man.
“I’ve heard 50 different rumors from 50 different people,” said Tina Fountaine, 46, Theros Fountaine’s wife of 31 years. “All I know is that they shouldn’t have been there.”
Theros Fountaine, known as “T” to friends and acquaintances, and his wife operated A-1 Mini Storage on Dutton Meadow in south Santa Rosa. The two have three adult children and a 3-year-old grandson.
“My dad had a heart of gold and would do anything to help anyone out,” said Brittany Hruby, Fountaine’s 25-year-old daughter. “He loved to be around his family. He was loved by many people.”
Fountaine and Miller had developed a friendship in the past year or so, Tina Fountaine said. Fountaine went to Montgomery High School and Miller, according to his Facebook profile, attended Piner High.
In addition to his daughter, Miller is also survived by a 16-month-old son.
McAlvain said her father was a generous man, which is why she donated his organs.
“He went on to save the lives of four people,” she said.
Both men had criminal records in Sonoma County. Fountaine had three misdemeanor convictions: possession of stolen property from 2013; possession of a controlled substance in 2012 and a DUI in 2009.
Miller had a recent drug conviction, and was convicted of car theft in 2001 and burglary in 2012, according to court records.
Miller did tree maintenance and had worked for Hodgin & Son Tree Service in Santa Rosa but left last year to pick up freelance tree work, said Mike Hodgin, owner of Hodgin & Son.
Hodgin said he likes to help people get on their feet after personal or legal struggles, and hired Miller after he left drug treatment. He said Miller was a good worker at the beginning but seemed to slip back into drug use.
“Tom was a really good but when he was bad, he was bad,” said Hodgin.
You can reach Staff Writer Nick Rahaim at 707-521-5203 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @nrahaim.