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Death penalty overturned for California mom who killed 4

Justice, Gavel, Courts
Posted at 3:30 PM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 18:30:40-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Supreme Court on Monday reversed the death penalty for a woman who killed her four young daughters and tried to kill her son.

The justices unanimously upheld the first-degree murder, attempted murder, and arson convictions of 57-year-old Sandi Dawn Nieves for setting their house on fire 23 years ago. But they overturned her death sentence due to the trial court’s misconduct.

The judge was frustrated that the defense lawyer kept violating court procedures despite repeated warnings and sanctions.

The judge also openly doubted the credibility of defense witnesses.