There’s a rather weird coincidence happening in the murder trial that is the subject of the latest episode of 48 Hours — it may be delayed because of one of the highest-profile trials in recent years. Ahead of the episode about Erika Sandoval’s fatal shooting of her husband Daniel Green, here’s what you need to know about her trial and what the Golden State Killer has to do with it.
The Golden State Killer Trial Delayed Sandoval’s Second Trial
Sandoval and Green were briefly married between 2010 and 2012 and later welcomed a son together in 2013. Then in February 2015, after Green had posted on social media about a new woman he was seeing, Sandoval came to his home and shot him four times, killing him.
Sandoval’s first trial ended in a hung jury, with one juror refusing to convict her on first-degree murder, according to ABC 30. But her second trial may not happen for quite some time because she shares a prosecutor with the Golden State Killer trial.
In January 2020, Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward told Judge Joseph Kalashian that the prosecutor on the Sandoval case, Assistant District Attorney David Alavezos, is going to be busy this year trying the case of Joseph DeAngelo, the alleged Golden State Killer, in Sacramento, California. Defense attorney Dan Chambers had no objections to waiting because he himself is working on another death penalty case that is scheduled to start in the middle of 2020, according to ABC 30.
“We need to have sufficient time for Dave to prepare and be ready and have a little bit of a break in between the two,” Ward said in court, according to ABC 30. “I think the families deserve that.”
“I think between what his office has got going on with the Golden State Killer and then what I have going on in my cases, I think late this year at the earliest would be realistic,” Chambers said.
Sandoval remains in custody while the courts try to find a trial date. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down courts all across the country, there is no word yet as to when her trial will take place. As for the Golden State Killer trial, DeAngelo entered guilty pleas earlier this summer and is due in court on August 17, 2020, for sentencing.
Sandoval’s Defense is That She Shot Green After Finding Child Pornography in His Home
At the first trial, Sandoval did not dispute that she shot her ex-husband. But she said it was because she found child pornography in his home and feared that he was abusing their son.
However, Sandoval didn’t make these claims until she took the stand in her trial. DA Ward told CBS News that was “the very first time” they had ever heard about anything like that and he never found any photos to corroborate Sandoval’s story. Prosecutor Alavezos said at trial, “That’s a disgusting lie to make you feel Daniel’s not worth a murder charge, to devalue him as a human being, that is the sole purpose of it.”
Furthermore, when Sandoval was charged in Green’s murder, authorities found a note in her purse that had Green’s new girlfriend’s full name, Brenda Vela, and her birth year written on it, according to CBS News. They believe she saw him post about his new relationship on social media, flew into a rage, and plotted to kill him.
48 Hours airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.