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Ventura County Judge Refuses to Move Trial in Woman's Slaying

March 06, 2003|Tracy Wilson | Times Staff Writer

A Ventura County judge has refused to move the trial of Vincent Sanchez in the 2001 slaying of a Moorpark woman, agreeing with prosecutors that an unbiased jury can be found locally despite widespread publicity.

Superior Court Judge Ken Riley on Wednesday issued a written order denying a venue change, and in a double blow to the defense agreed to let prosecutors call at least 10 prior sexual-assault victims to testify during Sanchez's upcoming trial.

Sanchez, 32, is charged with murder and special circumstance allegations that he killed Megan Barroso, 20, during an attempted rape and kidnapping.

Sanchez has pleaded guilty to raping seven women and assaulting three others in Simi Valley between 1996 and 2001. Prosecutors believe Sanchez also intended to rape Barroso and are seeking the death penalty.

Defense lawyers admit that Sanchez, a Simi Valley handyman, killed Barroso but insist there was no rape attempt.

They contend that Sanchez, fueled by alcohol and overcome with road rage, shot Barroso with an assault rifle while chasing her along a freeway on July 5, 2001.

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