Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Appellate court: Dutra's sentence can be halved

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2005 10:00 pm

Sarah Elizabeth Dutra, convicted of voluntary manslaughter for her role in the murder of Sacramento lawyer Larry McNabney, may have her sentenced cut from 11 years to six, the 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday.

However, the justices, citing several laws, decided Dutra was actually guilty of murdering McNabney, formerly of Woodbridge.

Dutra was convicted in San Joaquin Superior Court in spring 2003 of being an accessory to the murder in the poisoning death of the 52-year-old McNabney. She was charged with first-degree murder with special circumstances, but escaped a life sentence with no parole when she was found guilty of the lesser charges.

On appeal, Dutra's lawyers said that since the jury acquitted her of murder she didn't have the state of mind necessary to commit voluntary manslaughter. The justices disagreed and affirmed the voluntary manslaughter conviction.

They did find the evidence used to justify the trial judge's imposition of the maximum punishment was lacking and that the midterm punishment was more appropriate. The justices gave prosecutors the opportunity to retain the upper-term sentence at a future hearing, if they choose.

Dutra, a college student, worked at McNabney's law practice, which was taken over by Laren Jordan Sims, who married McNabney.

Sims used a slow poison to kill McNabney on Sept. 11, 2001. Dutra helped Sims move McNabney in a wheelchair, knowing he had been poisoned, but did not call the police or try to save his life, trial evidence showed.

His body was found by farm workers in February 2002, buried in a vineyard south of Clements.

About a month before her husband's body was found, Sims and her daughter from a previous marriage went on the run as authorities began asking about the missing lawyer. Sims was arrested in Florida, but she hanged herself in a jail cell there in April 2002, while California authorities were attempting to extradite her.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 203

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists