Sacto 9-1-1
September 12, 2012
Judge delays Hirschfield case to Sept. 24 over lawyer's injury

By Andy Furillo
afurillo@sacbee.com

A judge today postponed the Richard Joseph Hirschfield murder trial until Sept. 24 as a result of a knee injury to defense attorney Linda Parisi that required surgery.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael W. Sweet agreed to delay the trial, on the request of Parisi's two fellow defense attorneys, assistant public defenders Ken Schaller and David Lynch.

Hirschfield, 63, is accused of abducting and killing UC Davis students John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves, both 18, on Dec. 20, 1980. The couple was last seen leaving the Veterans Memorial Theater in Davis after assisting in the production of The Davis Children's Nutcracker. Their bodies were found 30 miles east off of Folsom Boulevard in a ravine near the Rancho Cordova-Folsom border.

Parisi slipped and fell in the courthouse Tuesday morning, right before the trial was scheduled to resume. She was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Parisi's daughter, Jessica Graves, confirmed in court today that her mother underwent knee surgery.

Deputy District Attorney Dawn Bladet did not oppose the trial delay. Bladet told the court that reshuffling witnesses in Parisi's absence who could have been cross-examined by the other defense lawyers had threatened to make the flow of her case "nonsensical."

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