In re: SaginAnnotate this Case
Sagin was sentenced to life without parole for a 1985 stabbing murder. After the murder, two Monterey County Jail inmates separately reported that Sagin (housed at the jail awaiting trial on other charges) confessed to the killing. More than 20 years later, the Northern California Innocence Project identified evidence that could be tested for DNA and obtained an order allowing that testing. (Pen. Code 1405). The victim’s bathrobe contained DNA from the man the victim was dating at the time and from an ex-boyfriend. Hair found on her couch was the ex-boyfriend’s. Towels contained DNA from the victim’s coworker and the ex-boyfriend. Fingernail scrapings contained DNA from an unknown male. Sagin sought habeas corpus relief, based on the newly-available DNA evidence. The court of appeal vacated the conviction The fingernail DNA does not, alone, prove someone other than Sagin committed the crime. The court employed the revised standard, requiring only that the new evidence would likely have changed the trial outcome. A jury would have considered the DNA results with the rest of the evidence, including the testimony of four alibi witnesses that, if credited, establishes Sagin is not the perpetrator. It was more likely than not the new evidence would have changed the outcome of Sagin’s trial.