Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: Back in the late 1980s or early '90s a gold miner named Pete Sanger was killed in Old Sacramento. Was anyone ever convicted of the crime?
Submitted by: Leslie, Sacramento
ANSWER: One man pleaded no contest to being an accessory in the shooting death of gold miner Pete Sanger, a resident of Forbestown in Butte County, but the primary suspect was not charged in the case.
According to stories in The Bee, prosecutors believed they knew who killed Sanger in May 1996, but they weren't able to prove it.
The one man arrested in the case, Allan William Robison, 44, was initially charged with murder, but he pleaded no contest in April 1997 to being an accessory after the fact. He was sentenced to three years in state prison.
The man Sacramento police identified as the principal suspect wasn't charged in the murder, but he was later convicted of battery on a peace officer in Yuba County and sentenced to four years in prison.
Sanger was known as a cantankerous prospector who also made jewelry and reportedly cultivated marijuana. He was last seen alive in the Forbestown area on May 9, 1996. His body was found in his van in Old Sacramento the following day. Police believed robbery was the motive for the shooting, because Sanger's jewelry display case and cash pouch were missing.
Police said Sanger was killed elsewhere and Robison helped drive the body to Old Sacramento.
Have a Sacto 911 question? Submit it here.