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Death Sought Again for Von Haden

May 09, 1998|HOPE HAMASHIGE

Prosecutors said Friday in Orange County Superior Court that they will again seek the death penalty for David Von Haden of Yorba Linda, who was convicted in March of murdering his 2-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son following a bitter custody battle.

That jury deadlocked 11 to 1 however on the question of whether Von Haden, 37, should be executed or sentenced to life in prison.

Superior Court Judge Francisco P. Briseno declared a mistrial of the penalty phase.

Von Haden suffocated his children on Feb. 22, 1996, before shooting himself in a failed suicide attempt.

The prosecution contended that Von Haden had killed the children to exact revenge on his former wife for leaving him. Defense attorneys insisted that Von Haden acted out of grief over the breakup of his marriage.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys will meet in August to set a date for the second penalty trial.

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