SANTA ANA — Ronald James Blaney Jr., the young deaf man convicted in the stabbing deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her mother two years ago, will face a new sanity trial April 10, the judge and lawyers in the case agreed this week.
Blaney, 32, of Fountain Valley was convicted by a jury in September of first-degree murder in the May 4, 1987, death of Priscilla Vinci, 33, and her mother, Josephine Vinci, 65, at their Santa Ana home.
But jurors were deadlocked in a separate phase of the trial to determine whether Blaney had been sane at the time. Two jurors held out for an insanity verdict. That forced Superior Court Judge Leonard H. McBride to declare a mistrial on the sanity issue.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Robert H. Gannon said a new sanity trial will almost be like a new trial. "A new jury is going to have to hear all the evidence about these murders and what led up to them," he explained.