Northridge man arrested for murder

Paul Castello

Last month Scott Menard, 27, came home from work to find out his father, mother and sister had been murdered in their Northridge home.

The police arrested a suspect the same day of the murders.

That suspect was his brother.

Brandon Menard, 21, a Northridge resident, was charged with the Aug. 4 murder of his father, mother and sister, according to a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman.

On Friday, Aug. 4, at around 6 a.m., police from the Devonshire Area Station received a 911 call from the Menard residence. When police arrived at the house they were met by Brandon Menard, the press release said.

Inside the house, police found the bodies of Menard’s father, David, 58, and his wife, Menard’s mother, Tony, 58. In the backyard they found Menard’s sister, 16-year-old Ashley. All three were the victims of multiple stab wounds. Police recovered the murder weapon at the scene, though the motive remains unknown.

Scott Menard said he was with Brandon for much of that night. Scott said he and Brandon spent time together from about 12:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. He said they went to a club called Perversion, what he called an “industrial goth dance club.” Afterward, he said they went to a nearby International House of Pancakes.

“At 4:30 I went to finish my delivery route, then came home (and) saw the police,” he said.

When he got home around 7:30 a.m., his brother Brandon was already in the police car, Scott Menard said.

Detectives questioned Brandon Menard and arrested him at 7 p.m. Friday night, according to an LAPD spokesperson. On Tuesday, Aug. 8, Menard was formally charged with three counts of capital murder with special circumstances, according to the press release. If found guilty, he could face the death penalty, according to James R. Bozajian, a deputy district attorney at the San Fernando Superior Court.

He is currently being held in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility without bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and is awaiting arraignment on Sept. 20 at 8:30 a.m., according to San Fernando Superior Court records. A delay of this much time is completely normal in a case such as this, Bozajian said.

“Usually in murder or serious charges the arraignment is continued,” he said.

Menard’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Debra Werbell, declined to comment.

Mike McCrea, 46, a fireman and neighbor of the Menards’, said he is highly anticipating the trial.

“I’m looking forward to the trial because I want these questions answered,” he said. “Not knowing what happened, it’s kind of nerve-wracking.”

Scott Menard, 27, said Brandon was also the scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 550.

While McCrea said he knew Scott and David Menard, he didn’t know Brandon Menard so well.

“Didn’t really know Brandon,” he said, “but he was always polite.”

Scott Menard said that he thinks he has been able to deal with the murders easier than most people because of his eight years as an Emergency Medical Technician and volunteer firefighter. He said people in the field often use humor to deal with the stress of death, though it often leads to them making some inappropriate jokes.

“A lot of EMS professionals do because if you just let it eat at you it will just incapacitate you,” he said. “I’ve had several trainees that just burn out because they just let it eat at them.”

Scott Menard said he thought Brandon was going to Pierce Community College, but that he wasn’t sure. “I know my parents paid money to Pierce, but whether (Brandon) actually went?”

Scott Menard said the family was very close, though the children were all adopted.

“We sat down to dinner every night. Just family, no TV” he said. “I don’t know a lot of people that do that.”

He said they also often took trips together, traveling around California for Ashley’s competitions for the local high school dance team, and going to Disneyland two to four times a year.

“Every couple years we took a big trip; Hawaii, Disneyworld, took a cross-country drive,” he said.

Scott Menard said that, while his parents said they were having troubles with Brandon last year, including issues with Brandon stealing money and running away, lately everything had been fine.

“They still let him back in even though he stole all that money,” he said.

Shortly after the funeral a few weeks ago, Scott Menard went to visit Brandon in jail, Scott said. Brandon looked tired and worn down, he said.

“(I) tried to make sure he was doing all right. Never accusing,” he said.

He said Brandon Menard said he didn’t do it, but had been told he couldn’t talk about it.

“I asked him if he did it, and he said he didn’t, but he didn’t look me in the eye,” Scott Menard said.

He said that the police haven’t told him anything either.

“They said they know he did it,” he said, “but they don’t know why.”

Scott Menard said he doesn’t understand why someone would murder his family, whom he said had no enemies. “It’s just kind of hard to think of anybody, even my brother, doing something (like that),” he said.

Scott Menard said he plans to finish the improvements his father, a real estate broker, and his mother, a psychiatric nurse at UCLA, started on family home, though he isn’t sure if he will be able to stay in the house. He said he may go to Texas, where his fianc?e, Amanda, is from, but he isn’t leaving anytime soon.

“I’m definitely going to be out here throughout my brother’s trial, ” he said.

He said, with everything that has happened, it has been difficult to adjust.

“It’s just been surreal,” he said. “I’m still waiting for my parents to come home from their trip.”