David Westerfield is headed to state prison at San Quentin after being sentenced to death today for the kidnap and murder of seven-year-old Danielle van Dam. Judge William Mudd in San Diego rejected an appeal from defense lawyers that he modify the recommendation of the jury, which had decided on a death penalty in the case. In imposing the death sentence, the judge cited the “extremely cruel and vicious nature of the crime.”
Westerfield was sentenced to death after tearful testimony from Danielle van Dam´s parents. Brenda van Dam said Westerfield is a “monster seeking only self-gratification.” The girl´s mother asked Westerfield what he was thinking when he killed his seven-year-old neighbor. Danielle´s father – Damon van Dam – said he regretted that he will never see his daughter grow up.