Sabrina Gonsalves and John Riggins were abducted and murdered in 1980.
SACRAMENTO, CA - As she began her closing argument, Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Dawn Bladet forcefully made her case to the jury that accused murderer Richard Hirschfield had a criminal past and escalated his deviant behavior with the 1980 slayings of UC Davis sweethearts John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves.
It was so forceful, in fact, that defense attorney Linda Parisi moved for a mistrial.
"She seeks to prejudice the jury against Mr. Hirschfield and inflame their passions," Parisi charged, arguing the prosecution was urging the jury to avenge the murders.
Bladet denied the accusation and after consideration, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet rejected the motion. Then Bladet continued with her closing remarks.
"The DNA evidence points to only one man," said Bladet. "The man sitting here."
Bladet said there was no chance the DNA sample was contaminated and that it was a silent witness with no bias.
The defense maintained the court is trying the wrong man.
"They have the wrong person and I think the evidence raised in this courtroom has done more than raise a reasonable doubt to that," Parisi said during the lunch recess.
The case could go to the jury by Friday.
By Jonathan Mumm, email@example.com