Doody Found Guilty In Second Retrial

January 23, 2014

A man who has already been in prison over 20 years has been convicted in the second retrial of his case for the murders of nine people at a West Valley Buddhist temple. 

A jury on Thursday returned the guilty verdicts against Jonathan Doody, who was 17 years old when he was charged with the slayings at the Wat Promkunaram Temple in 1991. Doody was convicted in 1993, but his conviction was overturned 18 years later, after a ruling that investigators improperly obtained his confession.

His second trial in October ended when jurors could not reach a verdict. Doody has maintained his innocence, but his accomplice, Alex Garcia, testified it was Doody’s idea to steal cash and valuables from the monks and that it was Doody who was adamant that no witnesses be left behind.

Garcia pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison, in return for his testimony. Defense attorneys claimed Garcia was lying and only implicated Doody to avoid the death sentence.

Doody faces life in prison, because a U.S. Supreme Court decision prohibits authorities from seeking the death penalty if a defendant was younger than 18 years old at the time of the crime.