Prosecutors want to present six witnesses in the penalty phase of Richard Joseph Hirschfield's murder trial who will testify that he raped, molested and otherwise sexually abused them, according to court documents.
Deputy District Attorney Dawn Bladet's court papers also accuse Hirschfield of wanting to blow up a man who dated an ex-girlfriend, and the prosecutor is seeking to introduce a 200-page journal that she says details some of the defendant's past sex crimes.
In the court papers, Bladet said she is prepared to call Hirschfield's own mother to the stand, saying she told a detective she "prayed for her son to die before he hurt anyone else."
"She feels guilt for bringing him into the world," Bladet wrote.
The prosecutor filed the papers last Friday in preparation for the penalty phase of Hirschfield's trial, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 26. A Sacramento Superior Court jury last week convicted Hirschfield, 63, of murder in the stabbing and bludgeoning deaths of UC Davis "sweethearts" John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves, both 18, on Dec. 20, 1980.
As a result of the jury's special-circumstance findings of multiple murders and murder during the course of oral copulation and kidnapping, the panel must decide whether Hirschfield should be executed by lethal injection or sentenced to life without parole.
In hearings that began Tuesday, prosecutors and Hirschfield's defense lawyers battled over the admissibility of witness statements to DA's investigators about the past, uncharged allegations.
Only accusations concerning the possession of explosive devices in the purported death plot against an ex-girlfriend's love interest ever made it into a criminal complaint against Hirschfield. A Santa Clara County jury convicted Hirschfield on the charges in 1975, in the same case in which he also was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman at gunpoint. Otherwise, none of the accusations were reported to police.
While defense lawyers have yet to file documents on evidence they intend to present to save Hirschfield's life, the prosecution's witness list contained an outline of key testimony they want to put on in the hope of securing the death penalty.
Bladet wants to call a woman who married Hirschfield after he had been imprisoned on the rape conviction. In the prosecutor's filing, she said when she went to see him on a conjugal visit in 1978, he forcibly sodomized her. The woman had her marriage to Hirschfield annulled "a few days later," according to the DA's court papers.
A relative's daughter told investigators Hirschfield raped and molested her three times when she was between 5 and 8 years of age, the documents said.
In Hirschfield's hometown of Colusa, a neighborhood girl said when she was 16, in 1966, the defendant lured her into his house, slammed her against the wall, sexually assaulted her at the point of a rifle and tried to rape her. The DA's papers said the girl "was so frightened she does not remember how far he got."
The son of a woman who dated Hirschfield said the defendant molested him on several occasions when he was 6 or 7. "Defendant told (the boy) his long-term plan was to move into the woods, build a house and pack artillery and kidnap girls," the documents said. "He told (the boy) he was from the (middle) ages and used to kill people."
One of Hirschfield's sisters told investigators he raped her twice when he was in high school and she was about 10 or 12, according to the filing.
An ex-girlfriend told investigators Hirschfield stalked her when she broke up with him and began dating an Internal Revenue Service agent. Bladet's papers said Hirschfield plotted to kill the agent and that pipe bombs and light-bulb bombs assembled for that purpose were in his car when he was arrested for the Santa Clara County rape.
According to the documents, the woman Hirschfield actually raped "was a surrogate" for the ex-girlfriend. Hirschfield "harbored the idea of killing any man who would try to come between him" and his ex-girlfriend, Bladet wrote.
Defense attorney Linda Parisi asked Judge Michael W. Sweet to conduct hearings on each of the witnesses to assess their credibility and determine if their testimony is more inflammatory than evidentiary.
Although Bladet conceded that only the one explosives case had been reported to police, she said Hirschfield corroborated some of the others in his journal. The writings were confiscated from his prison cell after he'd been convicted of child molestation in Washington state.
Bladet is seeking to have the journal introduced as evidence. Parisi branded it as "fictional." She also asked the judge to keep the journal out of the public court file. Sweet did seal it, but he is expected to rule today on a request by The Bee to view it.