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"Sweetheart Murders" killer sentenced to death | Crime

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"Sweetheart Murders" killer sentenced to death

SACRAMENTO, CA - On Friday, convicted killer Richard Hirschfield was sentenced to death in Sacramento County court for kidnapping and killing two U.C. Davis students in 1980.

Hirschfield was originally arrested after DNA analysis linked him to the deaths of John Riggins, 18, and Sabrina Gonsalves, 18, in 1980.

Riggins' and Gonsalves' bodies were found in a van near Lake Natoma two days after they were kidnapped from Davis in 1980.

Hirschfield was found guilty of first-degree murder in Nov. 2012, 32 years after the murders.

STORY: 'Sweetheart Murders' verdict reached

In court, family members had a chance to address the court and address Hirschfield himeself.

"I would like to say that we will never know the gifts that John and Sabrina would have given to society, but we do know Hirschfield's contribution: humiliation, pain and death," John's father Dr. Richard Riggins said.
















There will be an automatic appeals process, which is required in death penalty cases.


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