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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk Bob_R's Avatar
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    12.13.11 @ 01:09 PM
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    Edited because I added the link

    Westerfield gets Death Penalty

    SAN DIEGO (AP) - David Westerfield should be put to death for kidnapping and killing 7-year-old neighbor Danielle van Dam, the jurors who convicted him of murder told a judge.

    The recommendation came after nearly two weeks of deliberations in a case that has riveted San Diego since the little girl's abduction in February. The abduction was the first in a line of highly publicized child kidnappings this year.

    The death sentence must still be approved by Superior Court Judge William Mudd, who scheduled a hearing for Nov. 22. Mudd has the option of reducing the sentence to life in prison without parole, although a judge rarely reverses a jury's decision.

    Westerfield, 50, showed no emotion after Monday's jury recommendation, but his mother shook and cried as one of the defense attorneys tried to console her. Danielle's parents, Brenda and Damon van Dam, sat at the rear of the court with their arms linked, and Brenda van Dam cried as the verdict was read.

    The van Dams left the courtroom without talking to reporters. Instead, they scheduled a news conference for Tuesday morning at La Jolla Shores, the seaside park where more than 1,000 people gathered last March to mourn their daughter's death.

    "I'm glad it's done," prosecutor Jeff Dusek said. "There's certainly no excitement, no joy, no glee - none of those words would be appropriate for reaching this type of verdict."

    The recommendation was announced shortly after jurors sent a series of notes to Mudd, first telling him they were deadlocked and could not reach a penalty verdict, then asking for more time to deliberate and, finally, telling him they had indeed reached a conclusion.

    "I think the verdict speaks for itself," the jury foreman, identified only as Tony, told reporters afterward. "There were people on both sides ... but then after discussing it further we came to agreements.

    Defense attorney Steven Feldman, who criticized the death penalty in a brief statement to reporters, declined to take questions.

    "We're all very disappointed in the verdict, of course, but we respect the decision of the jury," he said.

    Danielle was last seen Feb. 1 when her father put her to bed in her second-story bedroom, decorated in her favorite colors, pink and purple. Just days before she had sold Girl Scout cookies to Westerfield, who lived two doors down from her house in an upscale San Diego suburb.

    Her nude body was found nearly a month later along a road outside the city, too decomposed to determine the cause of death or whether she had been sexually assaulted.

    The slaying preceded other frightening abductions this year, including those of Elizabeth Smart in Utah and Samantha Runnion in California. Samantha was killed, and Elizabeth remains missing.

    Westerfield was convicted Aug. 21 of kidnapping, murder and possession of child pornography. The jury began deliberating the penalty phase on Sept. 4.

    The jury foreman said blood and other physical evidence linking Westerfield to Danielle led him to believe Westerfield was guilty, adding he was not swayed by the character testimony from the defendant's son and daughter.

    Defense attorneys sought to portray Westerfield as a family man who contributed to society through his patented design work on devices used in medicine and other fields.

    They said the self-employed engineer had no prior felony record and played an active role in the lives of his children and close friends.

    "He's a good man but for one three-day weekend of terror," Feldman said.

    Westerfield did not testify during the trial, something the jury foreman indicated disturbed him and others.

    "We really wanted David Westerfield to speak to us and give us what his state of mind was," he said.

    [ September 17, 2002, 07:05 PM: Message edited by: EVH FANATIC ]

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! el_jalepeno's Avatar
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    10.28.15 @ 04:22 PM
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    They need to castrate the fucker then feed him to the pigs for a slow and excruciating death! [img]graemlins/irked.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/wtf.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Eruption HippieLettuce's Avatar
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    05.27.18 @ 02:49 PM
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    The scumbag got what he deserved. I hope he sits for a while in the big house and gets repeatedly slammed.
    Ni h-eibhneas gam Chlainn Domhnaill

  4. #4
    Niners Fan! SactoFan's Avatar
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    Dead man walking!!
    Can't stop...addicted to the shindig...

  5. #5
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    05.27.18 @ 12:51 PM
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    According to a story by the San Diego Union paper yesterday, Westerfield's lawyers were only minutes away from making a plea bargain when Danielle Van Dam's body was found. The deal was he would show the Police where he dumped the body in return he would only get a life sentence, no death penalty. In other words he was about to confess to the crime. Instead his lawyers went on during the trial professing his innocence. This has pissed off alot of people.
    "I'm the opposite of Bill Cosby. Diamond Dave always gets your approval." (DLR)

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  6. #6
    Webmaster/Graphic Artist Top Timmy's Avatar
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    01.28.18 @ 12:02 PM
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    Feldman can eat an ass!! OUT!
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