Golden State Killer case, other factors could delay Erika Sandoval retrial

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Erika Sandoval, the woman who shot and killed her ex-husband, Exeter police officer Daniel Green, returned to a Tulare County courtroom on Friday morning.

It was her first time back in court since December when a Tulare County jury said they couldn't come to a unanimous decision on a first-degree murder charge.

"She been sitting there for several weeks now to absorb what happened and then face the realization that she may be going through it again, so she's anxious right now," said Sandoval's attorney Dan Chambers.

Chambers wasn't ready to set another trial date on Friday.

He told the judge he's still finalizing the details of representing Sandoval at the next trial and said he has another death penalty case that's expected to start in the middle of the year.

Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward then brought up the case of Joseph DeAngelo, the alleged Golden State Killer.

DeAngelo's preliminary hearing was just scheduled for May, and Ward told the judge it's possible that Assistant DA David Alavezos, who's trying the Sandoval case, will be needed in Sacramento for what is expected to be a lengthy hearing.

Alavezos was sworn in as part of the prosecution team in late 2018 after the Tulare County DA's office charged DeAngelo with the murder of College of the Sequoias journalism professor Claude Snelling in 1975.
Ward says Sandoval's second trial will have to wait until Alavezos is freed from his commitments in the Golden State Killer case.

"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. "I think the families deserve that."

Ward still thinks they can retry the Sandoval case by the summer.

But Chambers thinks that's probably too soon.

"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.

"Obviously I respect Mr. Chambers' other commitments and other schedules, but I think this case has lingered on long enough," Ward said.

Sandoval will be back in court on March 6th, when attorneys will discuss a trial date again.

She's still in custody.
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