A former Sacramento legal secretary convicted of poisoning her boss in 2001 in a case that grabbed headlines and inspired two true-crime books is set to be released from prison after serving most of her sentence.
Sarah Dutra was a 21-year-old art student at California State University, Sacramento, when she befriended the wife of her boss, attorney Larry McNabney, and hatched a plot to poison McNabney with a horse tranquilizer and steal money from his law practice, according to prosecutors.
After serving most of an 11-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter, Dutra will be released Aug. 26, according to McNabney's daughter, Tavia Williams, who told The Record of Stockton (http://bit.ly/rpnFw8) that she was recently notified by prison officials.
After serving most of an 11-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter, Dutra will be released Aug. 26, according to McNabney's daughter, Tavia Williams.
Williams who told The Record of Stockton (http://bit.ly/rpnFw8) that she was recently notified of Dutra's upcoming release by prison officials.
Dutra and McNabney's then-wife, Laren Sims, carried out the poisoning on Sept. 11, 2001, at a Southern California horse show, prosecutors said.
As the nation reeled from news of the East Coast terrorist attacks, Dutra and Sims drove through Yosemite National Park in search of a burial spot with the dying man in the backseat, prosecutors said. When they found the ground too rocky for digging, they brought him back to his Woodbridge home and stuffed the body in a garage refrigerator.
Over the next five months, prosecutors said, the pair spent McNabney's money on shopping sprees, cars and vacations.
After his body was found in February 2002 buried in a vineyard near Linden, authorities arrested Sims, who had a long criminal history and list of aliases. She hanged herself in San Joaquin County jail, leaving behind a three-page confession that also implicated Dutra.
Dutra initially was charged with capital murder. But a jury ultimately convicted her of voluntary manslaughter and being an accessory to murder, and the judge sentenced her to the maximum 11-year term in Chowchilla prison.
Luis Patino, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said Dutra will be released in Sacramento County, where she will be on active parole for three years.
McNabney's adult son and daughter said they're still coming to terms with Dutra's upcoming release.
"We, as his children, are working on forgiveness for our health and well-being," Williams told The Record.
Dutra's parents did not respond to The Record's request for comment on their daughter's release.