In February 2015, Daniel Green was fatally shot in his own home and left for dead. His ex-wife, Erika Sandoval, later admitted to killing him. The story will be featured on tonight’s episode of 48 Hours on the ID channel.
Prior to his death, Green had been through a marriage and divorce, but he’d recently gotten into a new relationship, which seemed to make him very happy. However, days after posting a photo of him and his girlfriend on Facebook and Instagram, he received more than 100 texts from Sandoval, his ex-wife, according to CBS.
Green was shot dead in his own bathroom within the week, and Sandoval admitted to killing him to police and later at her murder trial.
Read on to learn more about where Erika Sandoval is now and get the latest news on the case.
Erika Sandoval Has Not Been Convicted or Sentenced
Though she admitted to killing her ex-husband, Sandoval’s lawyer framed her defense in a way that tripped up the jury. At the trial, he argued that Sandoval had been abused in their marriage, and the jury sat through tapes of the couple’s heated arguments as well as Sandoval’s testimony.
While on the stand, Sandoval said she’d found child pornography at Green’s home while she was snooping, and that was what led to her snapping and shooting her ex-husband. She said that she feared her ex was abusing their son, Aiden, just like he had allegedly abused her. According to CBS, she offered no proof of the child pornography argument.
The prosecution argued that the photo Green had posted was what made Sandoval decide to kill him, though. When she was booked in jail, investigators told 48 Hours that she had a yellow sticky note with Green’s new girlfriend’s name and birth year on it.
At the trial, Sandoval said that she regretted shooting Green “every day,” and that it cost her both her son and her family.
Where Is Erika Sandoval Now?
At that first trial, the jurors deliberated for more than four days, but they returned deadlocked, telling Judge Joseph Kalashian that they could no longer deliberate, causing the judge to have to declare a mistrial. According to ABC 30, only one juror opposed the decision to convict Sandoval, but their mind couldn’t be changed. The other 11 jurors all supported the conviction.
Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward told ABC 30 that the mistrial was disappointing, but he wasn’t discouraged by it.
“This is justice delayed in our mind,” he said. “We feel that the evidence is strong, and we’re going to proceed with the same theory that we had. This is justice delayed, not denied.”
A new trial was scheduled in 2020, but due to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the case of Joseph DeAngelo, the Golden State Killer, has delayed the retrial. Now, Sandoval is still awaiting her second trial while in custody. If she is convicted of murder, she could face the death penalty.
Sandoval’s parental rights to her now 6-year-old son have been terminated, and Green’s brother Matt and his wife adopted the boy.
Sandoval’s attorney plans to continue fighting for her, though, telling her that while it may not feel like a win for her at the time, the mistrial allowed her to continue to fight another day.