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Reload this Page David Westerfield: GUILTY
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Old 08-21-02   #1
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David Westerfield: GUILTY

RIP

Westerfield Guilty On All Counts
Verdict Announced On 10th Day Of Deliberations

UPDATED: 12:26 p.m. PDT August 21, 2002

SAN DIEGO -- After deliberating for more than nine days, jurors announced Wednesday that David Westerfield is guilty of the kidnapping and murder of his 7-year-old neighbor, Danielle van Dam.

The panel sent a note to Judge William Mudd Wednesday morning before 10 a.m. saying it had reached agreement. The lawyers and defendant David Westerfield were immediately called back to the courtroom. The judge had the panel read their verdict shortly after 11 a.m.

Jurors found Westerfield guilty of all counts against him, including a special circumstance allegation of murder and a misdemeanor charge of possessing child pornography. The judge polled the jurors, and they were unanimous on all counts.


As the jury's verdict was read, Westerfield looked on showing no emotion. His only visible reaction was a quick breath after the guilty verdict on the special circumstance allegation was read.

Danielle's parents, Brenda and Damon van Dam, were in the courtroom for the verdict. As the first verdict was read, Brenda let out a gasp and put her head on her husband's shoulder.

Westerfield's sister was also present for the verdict. She dropped her head to her husband's shoulder and sobbed softly.

Westerfield could be sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole or to death. The six-man, six-woman jury was ordered to return to court on Aug. 28 to begin the sentencing phase of the trial.

Danielle was last seen alive on Feb. 1, when her father put her to bed in their two-story home in suburban northern San Diego. After a massive search, the girl's nude body was found on Feb. 27 along a rural road east of San Diego. Westerfield, who lived two houses away from Danielle, became the prime suspect within days of her disappearance and was arrested two days before the body was discovered after tests showed that blood spots on his clothes came from the girl.

Police placed Westerfield under surveillance early in the investigation after Learning that he was at the same bar as Danielle's mother and two of her girlfriends the night the girl vanished. He also left on a long, meandering trip in his motor home early the next day as police and volunteers searched the neighborhood.

He later retraced his RV trip with police and made the unsolicited comment that "this would be a great place to dump a body," according to documents entered into evidence during the trial.

The girl's blood was found on one of his jackets and her hair inside Westerfield's home. Investigators also found Danielle's blood, hair and fingerprints inside Westerfield's motor home.

Westerfield's attorneys said their client had no motive and suggested it was improbable that the 6-foot-2-inch tall suspect could have slipped into the girl's home in the dark and snatched her away without leaving any evidence of his presence.

Lead defense lawyer Steven Feldman also noted that Danielle and her mother had once been in Westerfield's home for about 15 minutes as the girl sold him Girl Scout cookies, suggesting that's why her hair was found.

Feldman suggested that someone else was the killer, noting that a fingerprint found in the van Dam home and a hair found on the girl's body were never identified.

The defense also argued that the lifestyle of Danielle's parents, which included marijuana use and spouse-swapping, exposed their home to people who might have been responsible for the girl's disappearance. But the van Dams said their lifestyle had nothing to do with the crime.

The case drew national attention and captivated much of San Diego, with local Web sites, television and radio stations broadcasting gavel-to-gavel coverage and talk-radio programs delving into the details.

Prosecutors called experts who described the DNA link between Danielle and the blood on Westerfield's jacket. One said the odds that another person would have the same DNA were at least 1 in 130 quadrillion.
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Old 08-22-02   #2
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..I say de bastard should be anally violated with multiple cactus'..
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Old 08-22-02   #3
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Justice seems to have been done.

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That wishing and the crime were one
And heaven punishes desires
As much as if the deed were done.

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Come then we may at least enjoy
Some pleasure for our punishment..."

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Old 08-22-02   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Elijah
..

..I say de bastard should be anally violated with multiple cactus'..
cacti isnt it?
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Old 08-22-02   #5
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sick...he's sick...justice to me hasnt been done, i know prison isnt "nice" or anything, but just being looked up for life doesnt seem like enough for taking the life of another person.

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Old 08-22-02   #6
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That's the point, he isn't just locked up for life. He'll be subjected to prison justice where he'll be subjected to whatever befalls the whims of the other prisoners while guards turn a build eye to this.

How prisoners, fellons themselves, took over the role of enforcers of justice I don't know, but there seems to much dark irony in there to make it fair.

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Some pleasure for our punishment..."

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Old 08-22-02   #7
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theres one thing about prison they dont like... and its people who kill kids since man of them have kids of thier own. This guy is going to get his ass kicked, rape, and eaten alive when hes in there for the rest of his life.
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Old 08-22-02   #8
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true true....
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Old 08-22-02   #9
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yes but when as a society we allow the prisoners to punish we are by way of our own inaction saying yes this is fine, we'll let you commit more crimes.

It seems wrong that we accept the brutality he'll face in prison as fair, why should convicted fellons be allowed to do this, their fellons for pities sake, I wouldn't want most of them on the streets let alone enforcing justice.

Neon
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Some pleasure for our punishment..."

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Old 08-22-02   #10
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aw hell people, he was just acting out with normal male sexual aggression... let the man have his fun and move on... no need for a trial
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Old 08-22-02   #11
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..*whaps errantrogue n' grins*..

..yes, but that is why God created whores..
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Old 08-22-02   #12
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they don't actually know if the little girl was raped... her body was too decomposed when they found it to tell if she had been, she was however nude.
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Old 08-23-02   #13
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That isn't as conclusive as you migh think, he may have stripped the body knowing her clothing would take a lot longer to decompose to buy himelf time to escape should it be disturbed


Neon
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"I've oft been told by learned friars
That wishing and the crime were one
And heaven punishes desires
As much as if the deed were done.

If wishing damns us, you and I
Are damned to all our hearts content.
Come then we may at least enjoy
Some pleasure for our punishment..."

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Old 08-23-02   #14
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that or he couldve had an intense hatred for Hello Kitty! pajamas...
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