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Resentencing Denied For Convicted Murderer

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Sonora, CA– Tuolumne County District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke announced that convicted murderer Victor Munoz will not be re-sentenced under a new law that allows certain convictions to be overturned. California Penal Code section 1170.95, which was implemented in 2019, allows convicted murderers to allege that they were convicted of murder under legal theories that the law no longer recognizes. If a convicted defendant makes a showing that he or she was convicted under one of the debunked theories, the burden shifts to the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is still guilty of the original crime.

In October of 2020, Munoz filed a petition for resentencing, the court found that Munoz had been convicted under one of the now prohibited theories and shifted the burden onto the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Munoz was guilty of murder under a valid theory.

On December 10th, 2021, the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s office, represented by Deputy District Attorney Norma De Santiago, argued that Munoz was guilty of murder under the current law. Judge Donald Segerstrom agreed with the prosecution and ruled that Munoz was a major participant in the robbery of Mr.Gonzales and acted with reckless indifference to human life. Judge Segerstron denied the petition for resentencing. The original prison sentence of 15 years to life remains in place.

Details about the 1990s murder and the more recent legal troubles of Victor Munoz can be found here.