Police Nab Suspect in ’95 Slaying of Irvine Man


Persistent police work and a “wanted” poster in cyberspace were credited Sunday with the arrest of a reputed gang member accused of killing a local businessman during a failed kidnapping and robbery.

After hiding from police for nearly a year, Ramon Patterson, 26, was arrested Friday afternoon in Burien, Wash. Patterson and a second man who is already in custody are accused of killing Gregory A. Hebdon outside his home March 31 after handcuffing him and trying to force him into the trunk of Patterson’s leased Lexus automobile.

“For the last year or so he’s changed his identity, he’s been living under another name essentially trying to avoid us,” Irvine Sgt. Al Murray said. “It caught up with him.”


Hebdon’s killing was Irvine’s first murder in 1995 and sent shock waves through this master-planned community, considered to be one of the safest larger cities in the nation.

The assailants confronted Hebdon outside his home, where witnesses said Hebdon was pistol-whipped. Hebdon resisted and was heard to scream “No! No! No!” before he was shot several times in the upper torso. The assailants then fled, leaving Hebdon to die alongside his Toyota Landcruiser.

Residents found little solace when authorities determined this was no act of random violence. Patterson had worked for Hebdon for a short time before allegedly deciding to turn on his former boss, according to police.

“It appears that robbery was the motive,” Murray said. But his assailants did not take Hebdon’s money--he had $77 in his pocket.

Witnesses allegedly picked Patterson and, Jerome Jones, 25, from police mug shots as the suspects, officials said.

Both men are believed to have fled the area shortly after the shooting. Patterson’s luxury car was found abandoned in Carson. FBI and parole agents captured Jones in Seattle in May 1995, leading police to believe Patterson might be living in the same area.


Irvine police kept in constant contact with the Washington State Fugitive Task Force and used a World Wide Web page to post a photograph and description of Patterson.

“The investigator kept calling the task force, reminding them that this guy was still wanted,” Murray said. “We’re sure the Web page being out there assisted in getting information to the police up in that area. We did have calls on our page, about the case. It’s been a very, very good source.

“That diligence really paid off,” he said.

Hebdon, who was killed on his ninth wedding anniversary, was survived by his wife and two children. The family lived in a townhouse in an exclusive neighborhood on East Yale Loop. Hebdon owned and operated Servpro, a successful business that specialized in repairing homes damaged by water and fire.

Patterson is being held without bail on murder charges at the King County Jail in Seattle. Authorities intend to begin extradition proceedings immediately. Jones also remains in custody in Washington, where he was convicted of unrelated charges, Murray said.

Irvine police traveled to Washington this weekend to question Patterson, Murray said.

Both Patterson and Jones have criminal histories.

Patterson was released from state prison in July 1993 after serving a four-year sentence on a robbery conviction, according to criminal records. Patterson is alleged to be affiliated with the Los Angeles Crips, a criminal street gang.

Jones served three years in prison for carjacking and shooting a Gardena man before being paroled in June 1991.


He violated parole by robbing a produce truck at gunpoint in Lynwood. He served a year in prison and was released in April 1993, according to records. Within a few months, he was convicted in King County, Wash., of drug possession, according to law enforcement records.