Senior Investigator Laura Jean Cleaves

Senior Investigator Laura Jean Cleaves

Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office, California

End of Watch Thursday, May 1, 2008

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Laura Jean Cleaves

Senior Investigator Laura Cleaves was killed when her department vehicle was struck head-on by a drunk driver on Highway 154, near the intersection of Highway 246. She was returning to Lompoc from Santa Barbara when the incident occurred shortly before midnight.

The drunk driver, who was fleeing a California Highway Patrol officer at the time of the crash, was taken into custody following the incident.

Investigator Cleaves had served with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office for 24 years and had served in law enforcement for a total of 32 years. She had previously served with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Arcata Police Department, and the Santa Barbara Police Department. She is survived by her husband, who serves with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, two daughters, mother, father, step-mother, and four siblings.


  • Age 53
  • Tour 32 years
  • Badge DA-13

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile; Alcohol involved
  • Offender Sentenced to 15 to life in prison

DUI, routine driving

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As I reside in SB currently you give me strength. I’ve said my prayers in many ways, and honor you in so many more. I read the words of the many lives you’ve touched and I’m so proud to be a part of you.

Your niece, Mary Ann Taylor

Mary Ann (lene) Taylor

January 12, 2024

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