South Valley man accused of killing two women charged with two counts of murder

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- In their complaint, prosecutors say Barry Dantzler murdered Heather Sloan with a barbeque fork at a Visalia home last Tuesday.

They also say he killed her while also committing the crimes of robbery and burglary.

Authorities haven't released a motive about the gruesome killing, but have said Dantzler and Sloan were acquaintances.

Dantzler is accused of killing another woman named Heather Maciel three days later in the city of Tulare.

Police say Dantzler was leading Visalia special enforcement officers on a short pursuit when he lost control of his car and hit Maciel, who was riding her bike.

Back in February, Dantzler pleaded no contest to charges including evading a peace officer and hit and run causing injury.

At that time, over the objection of prosecutors, a judge released him on his own recognizance and ordered him to come back for sentencing in April.

But that sentencing date was pushed back because of COVID-19, and Dantzler remained out of custody.

Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward said the worst-case scenario happened last week, leaving two families broken.

"Our heart collectively as an office goes out to them because the real tragedy in this situation is it appears that in a way it was preventable," Ward said. "In a very real way it was preventable."

On Tuesday, Ward's office charged Dantzler with two counts of murder and various special allegations and circumstances.

The 30-year-old now faces life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

He's being held without bail, and will be back in court on June 19th.
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