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Convicted in 1983 of murder, battered woman is freed

June 16, 2007|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

A former Orange County resident convicted of murdering her live-in boyfriend has been released after nearly 24 years in prison based on expert domestic abuse testimony not permitted at the time of her trial, a lawyer said Friday.

Sandra Redmond, then 22, shot Arthur Moore, 58, in October 1982 in the Anaheim apartment the pair had shared for two months.

She was arrested, tried and sentenced in 1983 to 17 years to life in a state prison for second-degree murder.

At the time of her conviction, said Carrie Hempel, Redmond's lawyer, California law did not allow criminal defendants to introduce expert testimony on intimate partner battering and its effects, previously referred to as battered women's syndrome.

If such testimony had been allowed, Hempel said, jurors would have learned that Redmond had been physically, sexually and emotionally abused by Moore, as well as others, and that, on the day of the shooting, she had been raped.

Such testimony might well have changed the trial's outcome, Hempel said.

A 1992 state law allowed such testimony to be introduced at criminal trials.

And in 2001, Hempel said, state legislators passed a law allowing it to be applied retroactively.

In the meantime, Redmond had been granted parole twice but had it reversed each time by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, most recently in March.

Earlier this month, Hempel said, the Orange County district attorney's office agreed to stipulate that Redmond was a victim of abuse after reviewing expert testimony compiled by the San Francisco-based California Habeas Project formed to implement the 2001 law.

Andrea Bible, the project's coordinator, said the new evidence "would have really helped the judge and jury understand" that the repeated abuse "definitely affected how [Redmond] responded on the day of the incident."

A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office could not confirm that account.

Late Thursday, Hempel said, Redmond, 47, was released from the California Institute for Women in Corona and taken to a reentry facility in an undisclosed Southern California location.

"She was elated and relieved and happy that she was finally going to be able to go out into the world and be a productive citizen," Hempel said.

"One of her goals is to talk to other women about her own experiences in the hopes that they won't end up in similar situations."

She said Redmond plans to work as an office clerk in a sober-living facility.

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david.haldane@latimes.com

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