Aug 16, 2022
SONOMA COUNTY, CA — Defendant Toby Rosa, 50 years old of Santa Rosa, was sentenced earlier today by the Honorable Robert LaForge to serve 16 years in state prison after being found guilty by a Sonoma County jury in April of last year of two counts of involuntary manslaughter, in addition to charges of administering methamphetamine causing great bodily injury, keeping a house for drug use, and possession of methamphetamine.
District Attorney Jill Ravitch stated, “The prison sentence here is more than justified as this defendant acted with complete disregard for human life. He not only provided deadly controlled substances to these victims, but he actively refused to care for them as they lay dying in his home. Our community should be aware of the increasing potency of the drugs being introduced on our streets today.”
The charges resulted from a lengthy homicide investigation conducted by the Santa Rosa Police Department that began on March 9, 2018, when they were dispatched to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital after victim William Coffey was dropped off at the emergency room under suspicious circumstances. Coffey was pronounced deceased upon his arrival, and his cause of death was determined to be a drug overdose. As investigators worked during subsequent weeks to unfold the circumstances of Coffey’s death, on March 29, 2018, a second victim, Jayson Taylor, was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial. Taylor was also pronounced dead from a drug overdose. It was later learned by investigators that Taylor had been transported to the hospital from the defendant’s Midway Drive residence.
Detectives served a search warrant at Rosa’s home in April 2018 and gathered evidence of drug use and drug manufacturing. After extensive witness interviews, detectives discovered that Coffey and Taylor had visited the defendant with the expectation they would be able to use drugs at his home. Both Coffey and Taylor had known Rosa since high school. The investigation uncovered that at some point in the evening of March 9, 2018, Rosa became aware of Coffey’s overdose, yet he refused to call 911. Further, he directed others not to call for help. Eventually, Rosa and another individual transported Coffey to the hospital; however, Rosa fled the hospital without giving any information to medical staff. When Taylor came to visit Rosa on March 26, Taylor also ingested drugs and overdosed in Rosa’s living room. Rosa once again refused to call 911. Instead, he chose to inject Taylor with methamphetamine in a failed attempt to revive him. A cell phone video depicting Rosa injecting Taylor was introduced at trial. Several hours after the injection, a friend of Taylor’s transported him to the hospital. However, Taylor never regained consciousness and died three days later.
Following Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Rosa was sentenced to serve sixteen years in state prison.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Thomas Gotshall, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Greg Wojcik. Detective Vaughn Andrews of the Santa Rosa Police Department headed the investigation.
This press release was produced by the Sonoma County Government. The views expressed here are the author’s own.