Defense, prosecution go head-to-head in Sweethearts murder trial | Crime
SACRAMENTO, CA - Defense attorney Linda Parisi stressed the concept of "reasonable doubt" over and over and over again.
She cast doubt on the DNA testing of the crime scene blanket found in the abandoned van, questioned whether a sex assault actually occurred and stressed the case against the original suspects in the case who were later exonerated.
Parisi's client, Richard Hirschfield, 63, could face the death penalty if convicted of the 1980 double murder of UC Davis students and sweethearts John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves.
"You'll return the difficult verdict, that takes some courage to do it, but it is the only just verdict and that is not guilty," Parisi told the jury.
But in her rebuttal, Deputy District Attorney Dawn Bladet had one word for the hours of defense arguments, "Specious."
"Don't be fooled by smoke and mirrors, saying things does not make it so," Bladet said to the jury.
Bladet pointed out that it was the DNA evidence in the case that exonerated the earlier suspects and pointed, instead, to defendant Hirschfield.
"DNA, made sure the wrong persons didn't get convicted and we've got the right guy in Richard Hirschfield," Bladet said.
The case will go to the jury next week.
By Jonathan Mumm, firstname.lastname@example.org