A state appeals court panel today upheld a murderer's life sentence for killing two women, including the mother of guitarist Dave Navarro, in a West Los Angeles condominium more than 30 years ago.
A three-justice panel from California's 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense's contention that John Alexander Riccardi's sentence should be overturned, and that the case against him should have been dismissed because he was not retried in a timely manner after the California Supreme Court reversed his death sentence in July 2012.
Prosecutors opted not to retry the penalty phase of Riccardi's case, resulting in him being sentenced in February 2013 to life without parole.
In a 13-page ruling, the justices noted that Riccardi's convictions for first-degree murder were "not overturned and all that remained was for appellant to be resentenced."
"Neither a right to a retrial nor the need for a retrial ever came into existence here," the justices found.
In its ruling just under two years ago, the California Supreme Court found that Riccardi's death sentence had to be reversed, because a prospective juror was erroneously excused after expressing conflicting and uncertain views in a written questionnaire about the death penalty.
Riccardi fled Los Angeles after the March 1983 shooting deaths of estranged girlfriend Connie Hopkins Navarro, 41, and her friend, Sue Marshall Jory, 42.
Dave Navarro -- who has been a guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane's Addiction -- was 15 when his mother was killed.
Riccardi was arrested in Texas in 1991 after the TV show "America's Most Wanted" aired three segments about the case. He was convicted and sentenced to die in 1994. Riccardi's conviction was automatically appealed to the state Supreme Court.
--City News Service