Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Trial begins in 1980 slayings of UC Davis students - Sacramento Bee

A 63-year-old man is on trial in Sacramento for the slayings more than three decades ago of two University of California, Davis college freshmen whose throats were slashed and heads wrapped in duct tape.

The Sacramento Bee reports ( http://bit.ly/QjtPa5) that a jury heard opening statements Tuesday in the trial of Richard Joseph Hirschfield. He is charged with double-murder in the December 1980 slayings of Davis students Sabrina Gonsalves and John Riggins, both 18.

Hirschfield was serving time in a Washington state prison for child rape eight years ago when the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said his DNA matched a semen sample found inside Riggins' van.

Defense lawyer Linda Parisi told jurors to look skeptically on that evidence, alleging that improper security had undermined its reliability and that investigators earlier had implicated four other suspects.

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