Exeter police officer's ex-wife to stand trial in his killing

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Action News is hearing for the first time from relatives of a slain Exeter police officer. Now, the accused killer -- his ex-wife -- is heading to trial. A judge ruled that Erika Sandoval will face charges of first-degree murder.

A family left court Tuesday after hearing details of their loved one's murder. Daniel Green, an Exeter police officer, was killed earlier this year in February. His ex-wife, Erika Sandoval, has been charged with the crime.

Judge Lloyd L. Hicks listened to five witnesses, including Tulare County Sheriff's Det. Rodney Klassen, who testified about the crime scene. "You can see some of Daniel's body there, and you can see how it's wrapped in the shower curtain," said Klassen.

We learned that Daniel was shot with his own gun multiple times, including in the head, in his bathroom on Feb. 6. His body was found after he didn't show up for work at the police department.

"There's no way to quantify how much damage her decision did to this community as a whole," said Matthew Green, Daniel's twin brother.

Matthew and his sister, Misty Gray, say the past six months have been filled with grief. "There's no reason to take a human life, and whatever her reasons were they weren't close to justified," said Matthew.

Detectives say Sandoval is seen on surveillance video walking to the home in Goshen and later leaving, looking disoriented. Sandoval arrived at the crime scene that night, appearing distraught. Tuesday's testimonies revealed she later spoke with detectives two different times -- ultimately confessing to the crime and revealing motive.

"He asked her why she would go into the house, wait for Daniel to come home and then kill him. Her response kind of left me speechless for a moment because she almost started to chuckle and she just said 'why not?'" said Klassen.

Judge Hicks says there's enough evidence for Sandoval to face first-degree murder charges. And because she was waiting for Daniel, this could become a death penalty case. Sandoval is due back in court later this month to be arraigned.

Erika Sandoval and Daniel Green have a 2-year-old son who is staying with Green's twin brother. He's trying to get legal guardianship.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.