The California Supreme Courtroom has affirmed the loss of life penalty for a person convicted in a homicide spree in Marin and Contra Costa counties.
The case facilities on Glenn Taylor Helzer, a self-proclaimed prophet who led a small non secular group that known as itself “the Kids of Thunder.” The previous Harmony resident pleaded responsible in 2005 for his involvement within the 2000 murders of 5 folks, together with two victims in Marin County, with the intention to cowl up his extortion plot.
Helzer’s brother, Justin, was sentenced to loss of life for collaborating within the killings after he pleaded not responsible by cause of madness. He hanged himself in his cell at San Quentin State Jail in 2013.
An affiliate of the Helzers, Daybreak Godman, pleaded responsible for becoming a member of the plot and acquired 38 years to life in jail as a part of a plea cope with prosecutors.
Godman believed that Glenn Taylor Helzer, who glided by the identify Taylor, was a prophet of God, the California Supreme Courtroom mentioned in its 85-page ruling, which was issued Monday.
“She gathered with (the) defendant and Justin to declare conflict on Devil by brazenly stating their intent to comply with by way of with what they believed was God’s Will,” Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero wrote.
Taylor Helzer first plotted to steal cash from Ivan and Annette Steinman, an aged Harmony couple who was his purchasers when he was a stockbroker. The Helzer brothers went on to homicide the Steinmans at their house.
Taylor Helzer later fatally stabbed his 22-year-old girlfriend, Selina Bishop, daughter of blues guitarist Elvin Bishop, at his residence after utilizing her to deposit cash as a part of his monetary scheme, the ruling mentioned.
Due to considerations he could possibly be recognized as Bishop’s killer, Taylor Helzer and his brother traveled to western Marin and murdered her mom, Jennifer Villarin, and her companion, James Gamble, at Villarin’s residence in Woodacre.
Authorities discovered the dismembered stays of three victims in duffel luggage and that had been dumped within the Mokelumne River within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Taylor Helzer’s computerized loss of life penalty attraction started in 2008. His lawyer, Jeanne Keevan-Lynch, argued that he didn’t obtain a good trial due to the conduct of investigators and the trial choose.
Keevan-Lynch claimed that Marin County sheriff’s detectives violated Helzer’s Fourth Modification rights by seizing objects not listed on their search warrant once they investigated his house.
“We reject defendant’s claims and conclude blanket suppression of the proof just isn’t warranted,” Guerrero wrote within the courtroom opinion.
The courtroom was additionally not persuaded by Keevan-Lynch’s argument that her shopper acquired an unfair trial as a result of the trial choose excused a possible juror who was uncertain if she might put her ethical beliefs apart to presumably vote on the loss of life penalty.
The justices additionally disagreed with the defendant’s claims that jurors have been unfairly influenced by the prosecution displaying graphic pictures of the homicide victims within the trial.
Guerrero famous that the images confirmed proof that the killers tried to hide the victims’ identities by eradicating their tooth and tattoos.
“Right here, the disputed pictures make clear the circumstances of the crimes, as a result of, because the trial courtroom reasoned, they have been sturdy proof of defendant’s consciousness of guilt, the seriousness of his crimes, and the style of loss of life and subsequent disposal of the victims’ our bodies,” she wrote.
Keevan-Lynch declined to touch upon the ruling on Monday.
Ted Asregadoo, a spokesperson for the Contra Costa County District Lawyer’s Workplace, mentioned that though the Supreme Courtroom affirmed the trial final result, “it doesn’t ease the profound grief endured by those that misplaced their family members.”
Marin County sheriff’s Sgt. Adam Schermerhorn mentioned, “Mr. Helzer’s actions are irredeemable, and his sentence being upheld reveals the dedication that our state’s prison justice system has to the members of our communities.”