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  1. #1

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    Sandi Dawn Nieves - California Death Row








    Summary of Offense:

    Sentenced to death for murdering her four daughters and then setting their home ablaze on July 1, 1998. Jaqlene Marie Folden, 5, Kristl Dawn Folden, 7, Rashel Holly Nieves, 11, and Nikolet Amber Nieves, 12, were clad in their pajamas when they were found dead in sleeping bags and bedding in the kitchen. The woman's 14-year-old son, David, was hospitalized briefly for smoke inhalation and is now living with his father. Nieves killed her children to prevent their father from getting custody.

    Nieves was sentenced to death in Los Angeles County on October 6, 2000.

  2. #2
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    July 20, 2000

    Ex-Husbands Testify in Penalty Phase of Nieves Trial Court: Both tell of the pain of losing two daughters in a fire set by their mother. She could face execution.

    Testifying through tears Tuesday, two fathers described the lingering pain of losing their daughters, more than two years after their mother murdered the children. Sandi Nieves, 36, set her house on fire in 1998, trying to commit suicide and take her children with her because she wanted to take revenge on the men in her life, according to prosecutors. She was convicted last week on four counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Jaqlene and Kristl Folden, 5 and 7, and Rashel and Nikolet Folden-Nieves, 11 and 12. They died of smoke inhalation "We try to move on, but each day is a struggle," said Fernando Nieves, father of the two older victims. "There's always a cloud of sorrow." David Folden, father of the two younger girls, said "the pain doesn't go away. . . . It's no different today from what it was two years, one month ago." By testifying for the prosecution during the first day of the penalty phase of the trial of Sandi Nieves, her two ex-husbands were implicitly urging the San Fernando jury to sentence her to death. The jury of five women and seven men who found Nieves guilty must now decide whether Nieves deserves death or life in prison without parole. Nieves also was found guilty of arson and of attempted murder of her teenage son, David Nieves, who was in the house but survived. "There can be only one appropriate punishment for what the defendant has done to these four little girls . . . and that is the punishment of death," Deputy Dist. Atty. Kenneth Barshop told jurors Tuesday. But the death of the girls "does not warrant the death of Sandi Nieves," said Deputy Public Defender Howard Waco. He had argued unsuccessfully that Nieves was legally unconscious at the time of the deadly blaze. "She is not a danger to society," Waco said. "None of us is without flaws, including Sandi. . . . She started to crack under the stress of being a single parent." Nieves was born and raised "in a dysfunctional environment," Waco said. At one point she was married to her former stepfather. Waco told jurors that Nieves was a good mother who had "one torturous night" after a boyfriend dumped her, after she underwent an abortion that conflicted with her religious beliefs, and after Folden's attempt to reverse his adoption of the three older children. "She slowly became unglued," Waco said. "She had no ill will toward her children." Her two ex-husbands called Nieves a manipulative woman who tried to use her children as pawns in custody battles. Her son, now 16, still has nightmares about what happened and at times is quiet and withdrawn, Fernando Nieves said. "He's not enthusiastic about life. . . Who at his age had to know that his own mother tried to kill him?" The mother has mailed her son letters from jail, he said, but the boy either returns them unopened or throws them out.

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  3. #3
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    October 7, 2000

    Mother Who Killed 4 in Fire Is Sentenced to Death

    Calling the murders of four girls “cold, vicious and calculated,” a judge Friday sentenced their mother, Sandi Nieves, to death, making her the 12th woman on California’s death row.

    “She betrayed the trust of her children,” said Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge L. Jeffrey Wiatt, condemning the Santa Clarita woman for the “horrible and violent deaths” of her daughters, ages 5 to 12, after she set their house on fire.

    Nieves, 36, hid her face behind white paper during the hearing. When asked if she had anything to say, she responded, “If I could take back time … if I was smarter … if I had time before everyone passed out, we would have gotten out of that house.”

    The mother of five was convicted July 27 of the first-degree murders of Jaqlene Folden, Kristl Folden, Rashel Folden-Nieves and Nikolet Folden-Nieves, who died of smoke inhalation. She was also found guilty of arson and the attempted murder of her son David, who was 14 at the time and survived the fire.

    During the 3 1/2-month trial, prosecutors established that Nieves was financially desperate and angry at the men in her life. In the weeks before the murders, a boyfriend left her, and she was engaged in a child-support battle with an ex-husband.

    On the night of June 30, 1998, Nieves told her five children to sleep in the kitchen, where she joined them. She then poured gasoline on the carpet and set it afire. In testimony against his mother, David said the children woke gagging from smoke, but Nieves ordered them to remain where they were.

    “She was staging this multiple murder as the final revenge at the men in her life,” Wiatt said.

    Deputy Public Defender Howard Waco unsuccessfully argued that Nieves was not “legally conscious” at the time of the crime. Nieves, who testified in her own defense, said she had a flashback of holding a lighter in her hand, but otherwise had no idea what happened.

    On Aug. 9, a jury recommended the death penalty for Nieves, and at least seven jurors and one alternate returned Friday to the San Fernando courtroom, occasionally casting an icy glance in her direction

    Juror Bob Fisher of Van Nuys said during a break: “The mother, taking the lives of her children, it’s just unthinkable.”

    Several jurors cried as they listened to Charlotte Nieves, stepmother of the two older girls, describe the suffering of her husband Fernando and Dave Folden, father of the two younger girls.

    “My heart aches because of all the memories we didn’t get to make,” Charlotte Nieves said.

    David Nieves, now 16, lives with his father, Fernando, and stepmother and did not appear in court Friday. The boy has refused all contact with his mother. “The mail he receives from jail, he throws in the trash,” Fernando Nieves said.

    Of the 12 women on California’s death row, three others are from Los Angeles County. Maureen McDermott, a former nurse, was sentenced in 1990 for ordering the killing of her Van Nuys roommate to collect an insurance policy. In 1993, Catherine Thompson was sentenced for hiring a killer to murder her husband in Westwood. A year later, Mary Ellen Samuels was sent to death row by a Van Nuys judge for orchestrating the murders of her husband and the hit man she had hired to kill him.

    The last woman executed by the state was Elizabeth Ann Duncan of Ventura, in 1962, for murdering her pregnant daughter-in-law.

    On Friday, prosecutors said Nieves deserved death row. “We’ve yet to see her remorse,” Silverman said. “Justice was served today.”

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  4. #4
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    Itīs Cali. Sheīll die in a death row cell and we donīt know where she ends. I hope I wonīt meet her in my afterlife.
    No murder can be so cruel that there are not still useful imbeciles who do gloss over the murderer and apologize.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Itīs Cali. Sheīll die in a death row cell and we donīt know where she ends. I hope I wonīt meet her in my afterlife.
    She deserves to. And undoubtedly u wont Michael coz she would land up in hell which is quite far from heaven.
    he dint just murdered the kids but murdered the love and trust of the tender hearts. Ruthless! She should be locked in a 3/3/3 room without food for a month to starve to death in pain. Sorry for talking this way but couldnt help.

  6. #6
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    jrobert, could you clarify something please? You say you are posting from California, but your IP address is in India. So are you foreign? Is that the reason you spell like a 12 year old girl texting about Justin Bieber on her cell phone? If not, this is a reminder that there is a built in spell check in VBulletin, please consider using it next time you post.

  7. #7
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    Nieves' case has been fully briefed on direct appeal before the California Supreme Court since July 18, 2012.

    http://appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.g...doc_no=S092410

    Nieves filed a habeas petition before the California Supreme Court on January 9, 2013.

    http://appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.g...doc_no=S207902

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