KPAY News
A long-standing double-murder case in Chico has come to a conclusion. Steven Crittenden was convicted in the double murder of prominent Chico doctor William Chiapella and his wife in 1987. While awaiting trial in Butte County Crittenden escaped and kidnapped a resident in a nearby neighborhood. He was captured in Sacramento and his trial was moved to Placer County due to the publicity surrounding the case. The jury found him guilty of the murders in 1989 and he faced the death penalty. But, his conviction was overturned in 2013 when an appellete court ruled that a black juror was illegally excused from the jury. With California putting a moratorium on all executions....the District Attorney Mike Ramsey negotiated a plea agreement with Crittenden. He will serve 63 years to life in prison with no credit for time served up until 2015. It's the same sentence the Placer County jury gave him. He is not eligible for parole until 2035