Sunnyvale Police Make Arrest in 1979 Sunnyvale Cold Case Murder
Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Press Release
The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety announced a “fresh look at a 1979 Cold Case leads to arrest of California man.”
COLD CASE ARREST: A fresh look at a 1979 Cold Case leads to the arrest of a California man.
On the morning of July 19, 1979, Keith Judd, a 45-year-old husband and father of two, arose early to travel to his bar, the Lakewood Lounge, to clean up and account for transactions from the night before. Shortly after he arrived, an unknown assailant entered the bar, brutally attacked Keith and robbed him. At around 5:30 a.m. another employee arrived and found Keith lying in a pool of blood, struggling to survive. Within minutes Sunnyvale officers arrived at the lounge and transported Keith to a local hospital for medical treatment. Sadly, Keith didn’t survive.
Sunnyvale officers and detectives immediately began a homicide investigation. Several fingerprints were found in the area of the lounge where the homicide occurred along with footprints in the victim’s blood. Later that week, detectives believed they had identified the suspect and placed him under arrest. After a careful review, the district attorney’s office determined there was insufficient evidence to file murder charges and the suspect was released. The case went cold.
In 2018 Detective Matt Hutchison began a detailed review of the case and was able to locate fingerprint evidence that had been misplaced for many years. Detective Hutchison sent the fingerprints to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office fingerprint identification unit for examination. As a result of the examination, a suspect named Thomas Hinnard was identified as having left fingerprints inside the lounge in the specific area where the homicide occurred.
During his investigation, Detective Hutchison also determined Thomas Hinnard lived in Sunnyvale at the time of the homicide, worked at a business located in the same shopping center as the Lakewood Lounge and was a lounge patron.
Detective Hutchison spent many months locating and re-interviewing dozens of people including the suspect, Thomas Hinnard. During the interview, Hinnard lied several times and made numerous incriminating statements.
After a thorough review of the evidence with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, it was determined there was sufficient probable cause to arrest Thomas Hinnard for the murder of Keith Judd. On Friday, February 12, 2021 detectives from the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety and deputies from the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office located Thomas Hinnard in Sonora where he was re-interviewed and ultimately arrested for the murder of Keith Judd. Thomas Hinnard is currently in custody at the Santa Clara County main jail.
We would like to thank the family of Keith Judd, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office and Liberty Polygraph. Without their assistance and support, this investigation would not have been successful.
Sometimes an arrest may take years or even decades, but our detectives are relentless and work hard behind the scenes to help bring justice to victims and their families. We are proud of the work that is constantly being done by our detectives and gratified that we can provide some answers to Keith’s family.
If you have any additional information about this investigation please contact Detective Matt Hutchison at 408-730-7100.
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