Condolences for Family and Friends of Murdered Santa Cruz Resident and Property Manager

The news this week of the Capitola property manager has saddened and shocked us all. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the late Jonathan Gordon Smith.

Capitola murder suspects to be arraigned Friday

By Stephen Baxter

Santa Cruz Sentinel

CAPITOLA — A mother and son accused of murdering a 63-year-old Capitola property manager will be arraigned in Santa Cruz County Superior Court on Friday, authorities said.

Police on Thursday also released booking photos of the suspects, 28-year-old Daniel Xane Cohen and 58-year-old Diana Lynn Cohen. Capitola Police Chief Rudy Escalante said authorities did not release the photos immediately because investigators continued to interview witnesses Thursday morning.

The Cohens are accused of killing Jonathan Gordon Smith, the property manager at their apartment on the 1700 block of Kinsley Street in Live Oak. They will be charged and potentially enter pleas in Department 7 at 8:15 a.m. Friday, according to the court schedule.

Diana Lynn Cohen listed her occupation as a model and Daniel Xane Cohen told authorities he was a laborer, according to arrest records. The pair remained in Santa Cruz County Jail on Thursday in lieu of $1 million bail each, according to jail records.

Smith, of Santa Cruz, owned Capitola-based Shearwater Property Management and managed several apartment complexes in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. He was found shot to death at his office at 1350 41st Ave. about 8 a.m. Saturday.

Court records show that Smith was in the process of evicting the Cohens from their apartment in part because they tried to move into another unit in the complex without his permission. They also lied to him about problems with other tenants, Smith wrote.

Smith’s family and friends remembered Smith as an active member of High Street Community Church in Santa Cruz and a former skipper of a Long Marine Laboratory research vessel. He was married and had a 27-year-old daughter.

A public memorial service for Smith will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 21 at Twin Lakes Church, 2701 Cabrillo College Drive in Aptos.

Follow Sentinel reporter Stephen Baxter at


Published on 11/14/13 on Santa Cruz Sentinel online.


About MikeCastleRealtor

Mike Castle Real Estate Broker CalBRE#00620895 Cell: 831-588-1988 Fax: 831-435-7377 E-mail: Century 21 M&M and Associates 1500 41st Avenue, Suite 100, Capitola, California, 95010
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