'Sweetheart Murders' defense argues reasonable doubt

6:20 PM, Nov 1, 2012   |    comments
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Sabrina Gonsalves and John Riggins were abducted and murdered in 1980.

SACRAMENTO, CA - "Reasonable doubt."

That's what defense attorney Linda Parisi stressed in her closing argument in the trial against 63-year-old Richard Hirschfield, charged with two counts of murder in the 1980 "Sweethearts Murders" case."

"If one reasonable theory points toward innocence," she told jurors, "Even if you don't like it that much but it's reasonable, you must accept it.  The greater injustice is not to follow the law and convict the wrong person."

UC Davis students and boyfriend-girlfriend John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves were murdered December, 1980.  Originally, other suspects were charged but exonerated.  The defense, however, believes those suspects are the more likely killers.

Hirschfield's attorneys also challenged DNA evidence pointing to the defendant.

The case could go to the jury Friday.

by Jonathan Mumm, jmumm@news10.net


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