Insanity plea dropped, death penalty dropped in Kori Muhammad murder trial

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- There will be no death penalty and no sanity phase of the capital murder trial against killer Kori Muhammad.

A jury convicted the 42-year-old on three counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder on Wednesday for killing Carl Williams, Zack Randalls, Mark Gassett, and David Jackson in April 2017.

He was eligible for the death penalty because there were multiple murders and one of them was first degree, plus the jury found Muhammad committed a hate crime based on race.

The sanity phase of the trial was scheduled to start next week, but in a surprise deal Friday, Muhammad dropped his insanity plea in exchange for prosecutors dropping the death penalty.

A judge will now sentence the defendant to life in prison without the possibility of parole next month.

The long trial was interrupted by coronavirus court closures, so the jury started deliberations in March, left for four weeks, and came back to finish up this week.
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