Greyhaven: New details emerge in attempted murder case

Byron DeCles, 21, has entered not-guilty pleas in relation to the charges against him, which include two counts of attempted murder.

Greyhaven: New details emerge in attempted murder case
Berkeley police say Byron DeCles attacked three older relatives Dec. 8 — the culmination of several violent incidents at the home, dubbed Greyhaven, since July. Google Street View

A more detailed picture is emerging of the stabbing attacks at a Berkeley home earlier this month that sent two people to Highland Hospital.

Berkeley police say Byron DeCles attacked three older relatives on Dec. 8 — the culmination of several violent incidents at the home, dubbed Greyhaven, since July.

DeCles, 21, has entered not-guilty pleas in relation to the charges, which include two counts of attempted murder.

Victims include fantasy author Diana L. Paxson and her adult son, Ian Grey, who have since returned home to recover.

According to court records reviewed this week by The Berkeley Scanner, DeCles had lived in the home on El Camino Real near The Uplands until about a year ago when his family kicked him out.

Earlier on Dec. 8, he was seen peering inside the house, likely casing the residence, police wrote.

At about 6:30 p.m., he broke into the home by throwing a small patio brick through a window near the front door, authorities said.

He reached inside and unlocked the deadbolt and security chain, police wrote.

Paxson, 80, confronted DeCles as he headed toward her son, 55-year-old Ian Grey, according to BPD. Paxson blocked the young man's path and called 911.

Meanwhile, Grey ran to help Paxson — but not before DeCles had stabbed her in the temple and neck, Berkeley police wrote.

When Grey got between his mother and DeCles, and tried to fight him off, Decles stabbed him in the ear, neck and shoulder blade, according to authorities.

Police say DeCles then dropped the knife and ran to the front door where he grabbed a 4x4 post that had been used to block it.

He threw the post at Grey, hitting him in the arm, police wrote.

As he fled, police wrote, DeCles struck a 71-year-old woman — also a relative — in the face. Then he ran up the nearby Oakridge Steps and got away.

DeCles was inside the house for less than 60 seconds, police wrote.

"Surveillance video captured Decles breaking into and exiting the residence all within 30 seconds," BPD wrote.

Read more court coverage on The Scanner.

It took several days for police to track him down.

BPD initially thought DeCles might have gone to stay with his girlfriend, with whom he has two children, according to court papers. That lead came up empty.

On Dec. 11, according to BPD, DeCles broke into Greyhaven again to try to steal car keys but he fled when his attempt failed.

Berkeley detectives ultimately put out a wanted flier to other law enforcement agencies identifying DeCles.

On Dec. 12, two Oakland police officers spotted him just before 3 a.m. walking on Telegraph Avenue near the 500 block of 22nd Street, according to BPD.

They arrested him after a short foot chase and found him in possession of a fixed-blade knife, BPD wrote.

When police tried to interview DeCles, he immediately asked for an attorney.

Berkeley writer Diana Paxson on the mend after stabbing
Paxson told The Scanner that what happened Friday had been the culmination of “a series of difficulties” with Byron DeCles over the past year.

Last week, Diana Paxson told The Scanner that problems with DeCles began about a year ago.

She alluded to "a series of difficulties" with him, possibly stemming from untreated head injuries as well as psychiatric issues requiring medication.

According to, Greyhaven is "famous for being a center and home to a number of science fiction and fantasy writers, as well as many social and literary events."

Paxson has lived in the home since 1971, often with members of her extended family and literary circle.

One neighbor told The Scanner that there used to be "pretty frequent and loud parties" there.

"People seem to come and go," he said. "There has been considerable yelling/screaming in recent months."

Berkeley double stabbing suspect arrested in Oakland
Byron DeCles, 21, was arrested Tuesday shortly before 4 a.m. on a warrant related to the Berkeley case, jail records show.

According to police, there were two violent encounters at Greyhaven prior to Dec. 8.

On July 30, police wrote, DeCles slapped Grey and punched him in the head after a verbal dispute.

Three months later, on Oct. 29, he "struck his cousin 3-5 times causing a small laceration needing 8 staples and a contusion to his eye," police wrote.

After that attack, DeCles "was identified as the person responsible, but was never located."

DeCles has now been charged with two counts of attempted murder, in relation to the attacks on Paxson and Grey, and misdemeanor elder abuse in relation to the 71-year-old woman.

He was charged with felony assault likely to produce great bodily injury in relation to the alleged violence against his cousin, a 23-year-old who has also lived in Berkeley, according to public records.

He was also charged with misdemeanor battery in connection with the July 30 attack on Grey.

As of this week, DeCles remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail and is being held on $500,000 bail.

A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 31.

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