Roseville Man Sentenced To Life For The Murder Of Conner Bickford
R. Scott Owens
PLACERCOUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678
For Immediate Release
March 27, 2019
Contact: Jeff Wilson, Assistant District Attorney 916 543-8000
ROSEVILLE MAN SENTENCED TOLIFE FOR THE MURDER OF CONNER BICKFORD
Akiva Israel, 35, of Rocklin was sentenced today inconnection to the January 6, 2018, stabbing death of Conner Bickford, 18 of Rocklin. The sentencing today came as a result of Israel’s guilty plea to First Degree Murder on February 15, 2019. Israel entered his plea with the understanding he would receive a sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.
Deputy District Attorney Anna Duffy filed a Sentencing Memorandum outlining the facts surrounding the murder of Bickford. The Memorandum explained that at 11:00 p.m.on January 6, 2018, the Roseville Police Department responded to a 911 call from the Siena Apartments in Roseville. Officers arrived at the scene and were able to locate the apartment where the stabbing occurred by following directions from the many residents who had come out of their apartments during the disturbance. They were also able to follow the trail of blood drops and bloody footprints that led into the apartment. After officers forced their way into the apartment they found the murdered victim and Israel who was pretending to be an additional victim. Officers quickly determined that Israel was not the victim, but was in fact the murderer.
Roseville Police Detectives led by Kate Quartarolo learned that Bickford and Israel had been previously involved in a relationship that was ended by Bickford. Israel had invited Bickford and several others to the residence for a party. During the party, Israel asked to talk with Bickford privately in the master bedroom of the residence. Once Bickford was in the room Israel attacked him stabbing him multiple times with a Buck brand knife. Others that attended the party bravely attempted to help Bickford and stop the assault. One witness suffered minor injuries in the process. Despite their heroic efforts they were unable to save Bickford from the assault of Israel.
The sentencing hearing today was attended by many friends and family of Conner Bickford. Conner Bickford’s Father, Roger Bickford, his Step-Mother Lisa Bickford and his Aunt, Linda Tolladay gave statements regarding the impact the murder has had on their lives. An emotional and powerful statement was made by Conner Bickford’s Mother, Laura Tolladay explaining who Conner was to our community and the effect Conner’s murder has had on her life:
“I am a broken spirit forced to remain among the living as apart of me has died. My soul mourns. My family is broken. My world is forever distorted and warped. There are no words to describe it, and the loss can never be measured. I’ll never get over it. I’ll miss Conner until my very last breath. I miss him. I miss his voice, his laugh, I miss him sitting next to me, telling me jokes, cracking me up. I miss cooking with him. I miss dancing with him. I miss listening to music with him. I miss watching him perform. I miss our inside jokes. I miss his kindness towards me, and his thoughtfulness. I miss him so much I can feel my heart breaking.”
At today’s hearing, Chief Assistant District Attorney Jeff Wilson argued in support of the life sentence for Israel. Wilson stated that, “This savage attack was not just on Conner, but an attack on everyone who was touched by Conner. Israel attacked the joy Conner brought to those who knew him. It was an attack on a talented musician who made people happy when he performed for them. And it was an attack on a family who loved Conner. Most of all, he committed the murder knowing the pain he would cause this family who had accepted him and respected him at one time.” He also stated, “While I appreciate the fact Israel is finally taking responsibility for his murderous conduct, he has only done so facing an exceptional investigation led by Detective Quartarolo and the Roseville Police Department. He does so only after his failed attempt to blame mental illness for his conduct. And finally, he only does so after facing a family that is crushed by his conduct, but had the strength to ensure there was justice for Conner. The reality is he had no choice but to accept his fate of spending the rest of his life in prison. That will be justice for Conner and the justice his family deserves. Most of all, it is the justice that Israel deserves, to sit in a cell for the rest of his life and think about the damage he has caused this family.”
Considering the arguments of the People, the defendant, and along with the statements of the victims, the Honorable Eugene Gini sentenced Israel to 25 years to life in state prison.