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Vallejo man spared from death row confesses guilt in mother's killing

  • Dennis Stanworth gestures during his appearance at the Solano County Superior Court in Fairfield, Calif. on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Languishing on death row for brutally raping a series of victims before killing two teen girls he picked up hitchhiking, Stanworth pleaded with the courts to get on with his execution. "I have dishonored my family's name," he wrote the California Supreme Court in asking for his appeals to be dropped and his lawyer fired. He was paroled in 1990. On Wednesday, Vallejo police arrested him for the murder of his mother. (AP Photo/The Times-Herald, Mike Jory)

SAN FRANCISCO — A former death row inmate freed from prison who is now charged with murdering his 90-year-old mother blurted out that he was guilty during his most recent court appearance.

Dennis Stanworth languished on Death Row for a series of brutal rapes culminating in the 1966 killing of two teen girls he picked up hitchhiking, but walked out of prison on parole 23 years ago, although two separate juries decided he should be executed.

On Friday, the Solano County District Attorney charged him with one count of first-degree murder for the death of his 90-year-old mother. Investigators found her body at Stanworth's Vallejo home on Wednesday but believe she was killed in early November.

Stanworth didn't enter plea at his court appearance Friday, but blurted out that he was guilty and that this was his "third time," Deputy district attorney Karen Jensen said. She said his attorney admonished him to keep quiet and the judge ordered him back to court Jan. 18 without commenting on the outburst.

The Associated Press asked the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation how someone with Stanworth's criminal history, including three rapes of young women prior to raping and killing the two teen hitchhikers, could have been paroled with a finding that he had no history of violent conduct.


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