Wednesday, April 16, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Tahoe case: 33-year-old murder subject of hearing

DSC_9232 ec

ANDREW SANFORD awaits proceedings in Judge James Wagoner's courtroom. Sanford is accused of killing Richard Swanson during a gas station robbery Aug. 14, 1980. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

By
From page A1 | February 08, 2013 | Leave Comment

By Adam Jensen

A question about whether God forgives murderers was part of a preliminary hearing in the 1980 killing of a South Lake Tahoe gas station attendant.

The question was posed to Jenna Weller by Andrew Sanford during a conversation the former roommates had during the summer of 2010, according to Weller’s testimony in El Dorado County Superior Court in Placerville on Tuesday.

Sanford is accused of killing 16-year-old Richard Swanson during robbery of the former South “Y” Shell station on Aug. 14, 1980.

El Dorado County prosecutors charged Sanford with murder in connection to Swanson’s death in March. Sanford, who was 50 years old at the time charges were filed, has since pleaded not guilty.

During the 2010 conversation, Weller said Sanford told her “him and his friends did something and he thought someone may have died.”

“He said a kid may have died and asked me if I thought that God would forgive him,” Weller said later in the hearing.

She told Sanford she thought God did forgive murderers, but did not press him for details about his comments, according to her testimony.

During cross-examination of Weller, Sanford’s attorney, Erik Schlueter, highlighted that Weller’s comments lacked details and did not include a confirmation that anyone had died.

He asked Judge James Wagoner to strike her testimony from the record, saying there was an “insufficient nexus” to connect her conversation with Sanford to the case.

“There’s just no tie-in of anything: Time, date, place,” Schlueter said. “There’s nothing of relevance.”

“Comments did not come out that he murdered anybody,” Schlueter said.

El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney Patricia Kelliher was successful in getting Wagoner to allow Weller’s testimony on the conversation, saying Sanford’s statements were relevant to his state of mind and unique enough to be relevant to the case.

Also at Tuesday’s hearing, Kelliher called former South Lake Tahoe Police Department evidence technician Richard Hartman, who described how Swanson was found in a back office of the gas station that August morning 33 years ago.

“The office was in disarray,” Hartman said. “Things had been tossed around. The victim was on the floor in a pool of blood.”

Swanson was lying in the fetal position, Hartman said. His arms had been bound to his sides with duct tape and his face was wrapped in duct tape from just underneath his eyes to his chin, the retired evidence technician said. Swanson had also suffered head trauma and had a contusion in the area of his left eye, Hartman said.

Additional witnesses are expected to take the stand Wednesday. Cross-examination of Hartman is scheduled to continue Thursday.

The preliminary hearing is expected to last through the end of February. At the conclusion of the hearing, Wagoner will determine if there is enough evidence for the case to proceed.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

EDH Fire Dept. annexing Latrobe

By Noel Stack | From Page: A1, 7 Comments

 
Motorcycle fatality in Greenwood

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
Greenwood School being restored

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Cal Fire increasing staffing, hiring

By Cal Fire | From Page: B1

 
EID restricts watering days

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A1, 10 Comments

Lover’s Leap fall injures man

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A1

 
Tea Party meeting April 17

By Tea Party Patriots Of El Dorado Hills | From Page: A3, 45 Comments

 
Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking May 1

By El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition | From Page: A6

Floating body not a body

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A7

 
Old mill a goner

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A11, 11 Comments | Gallery

.

Letters

A great big thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Murder? Suicide?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 6 Comments

‘Drive Clean’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Middle class getting poorer?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 45 Comments

Real estate lies

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

 
.

Sports

Outside with Charlie: Switch gear

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A8

 
Ponderosa volleyball is a family affair

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Aussie team makes visit

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A8

 
Griz have challenging day

By Mike Bush | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Roundup: April 15, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Prospecting

At a glance: Take aim on fun

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Men to walk a mile in her shoes

By Center For Violence-Free Relationships | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Runners stampede for Sugarloaf scholarships

By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Team works to fight disease

By Placerville Kiwanis | From Page: B3

 
COOL School is accepting applications

By Rescue Union | From Page: B4

Band of Miwoks fund mission

By Shingle Springs Band Of Miwok Indians | From Page: B12

 
.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 25-27

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Weather stats 4-15-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

.

Obituaries

Ronald Russell Rohrer

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

 
Numa Edward “Ed” Roberts

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A10

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Thursday, April 17, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Horoscope, Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A10