Supreme Court Refuses To Prohibit Death Sentence
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) _ The California Supreme Court refused Thursday to prohibit a death sentence for a former winery worker accused of killing seven people and trying to kill three others.
Ramon Salcido, 29, is accused in the slayings, including six family members, during a series of bloody attacks in California’s wine country last year.
Salcido faces seven counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder. The case went to the jury Wednesday and deliberations continued Thursday.
The Supreme Court refused a defense request to intervene in the case and prohibit a death sentence. Jurors could recommend the death penalty if they find Salcido guilty of multiple first-degree murders.
Salcido’s lawyers had argued their client was removed from Mexico by a subterfuge intended to evade the U.S.-Mexico extradition treaty.
That treaty lets Mexico, which has no death penalty for murder, deny extradition if the fugitive could be sentenced to death in the United States.
In court papers, public defender Marteen Miller said Mexican officials were deceived into releasing Salcido into U.S. custody without formal extradition after he was arrested in Mexico four days after the killings.
″The law enforcement agents of Sonoma County sought to evade the effect of these treaty provisions by intentionally misleading the Mexican authorities into falsely believing that (Salcido) was an American citizen and expelling him,″ Miller wrote.
Those arguments were rejected earlier by Superior Court Judge Reginald Littrell, who is presiding over Salcido’s trial in San Mateo County.
The proceedings were moved from Sonoma County because of heavy pre-trial publicity.
Salcido is accused of shooting his wife, Angela, 24, and cutting the throats of their three young daughters, two of whom died, in April 1989.
He also is accused of stabbing to death his mother-in-law, Marian Richards, 47, killing her two daughters and fatally shooting his co-worker Tracey Toovey, 35.
He faces three counts of attempted murder for attacks on his surviving daughter, another co-worker, Kenneth Butti, and Butti’s wife, Terri.