Sacto 9-1-1
December 9, 2011
Change of venue denied in Davis 'sweethearts' murder trial

A judge today denied a motion by defense attorneys in the Davis "sweethearts" murder case to have the trial moved out of Sacramento County.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael W. Sweet said that the defense's own expert said in a declaration that there hasn't been enough publicity in the case to prejudice potential jurors.

The judge delayed issuing a ruling on a motion by prosecutors to bring into the trial a suicide letter written by defendant Richard Hirschfield's brother.

Deputy District Attorney Dawn Bladet said the 62-year-old defendant's brother, Joseph HIrschfield, would have been charged as an aider and abettor in the case had he not killed himself the day after sheriff's investigators interviewed him.

Richard Hirschfield is charged with murder in the Dec. 20, 1980, slashing deaths of UC Davis students John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves, both of whom were 18 at the time they were killed.

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