Southern California breaking news and trends

Dale Hurd convicted of 1993 murder after third trial

Jordon Cooper/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

A jury in this courthouse Thursday convicted Dale Hurd of first degree murder in his third trial for killing his wife. His first and second trials in the 1993 murder ended in a hung jury and an overturned verdict by an appeals court.

Dale Hurd stared straight ahead in a Downtown L.A. courtroom Thursday as the clerk read the verdict in his third trial for killing his estranged wife in 1993.

Prosecutors said Hurd, amid a dispute over a divorce financial settlement, shot his wife when she came by to pick up their children. The jury evidently agreed; it found Hurd guilty of first degree murder with enhancements for using a firearm. 

Defense attorneys had argued that the shooting was an accident. They maintain that Hurd was charged excessively. His first trial resulted in a hung verdict. The second, in 1995, also ended in a conviction, which the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals later overturned. 

During that trial, defense attorneys had argued that Hurd was showing his wife how to use the gun when it accidentally went off. But Hurd refused to re-enact the incident for police officers. Prosecutors introduced that fact during trial as evidence of his guilt. Justices with the 9th Circuit decided the use of that evidence violated Hurd's Miranda rights - specifically the right to remain silent - and overturned his verdict.


Give me land lots of land: Roy Rogers' 67-acre ranch sells for $645K

roy rogers and trigger

Photo by born1945 via Flickr Creative Commons

The Victorville Daily Press reports that the former ranch of the late King of the Cowboys, Roy Rogers, has been sold to the highest bidder for $645,000.

The Double R Bar Ranch near Victorville -- a 67-acre ranch with a house, barn, stable, horse track, theater, fenced pastures and more -- was auctioned by the firm Williams & Williams Worldwide. The bidding started at $100,000. (A 2009 high-priced attempt at offloading the ranch failed to generate widespread interest.)

A couple from Orange County restored the Mojave Desert property after purchasing it decade ago for about $300,000. The new owner, who was "enchanted with the place," intends to give the ranch to her daughter and son-in-law to keep their Arabian horses.

Don't fence me in.