What happened to the defendant Anthony King, who was accused in the 1987 Knights Landing murders?
– Shirley, Sacramento
Anthony King was convicted of first-degree murder in the slayings of three people in September 1987 and was sentenced to 52 years to life in prison.
According to stories in The Bee, King, a Woodland High School student from Knights Landing, was 16 when he and companion Kenneth Bivert, 17, shot three people along the Sacramento River to steal their vehicles.
Steve Patton, a 33-year-old carpenter from West Sacramento, was killed Sept. 6 as he was fishing near Knights Landing. King and Bivert reportedly chatted and shared beers with Patton before Bivert shot Patton, and King helped dump the body into the river. Two days later, Bivert and King brutally killed Dawn Rogers and her husband, Raymond, who had a cast on his leg.
King and Bivert were arrested in Oregon a few days later in the Rogerses’ car.
In a plea-bargain agreement, Bivert pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to 53 years to life in prison. He is on death row at San Quentin State Prison for the 1997 murder of Leonard Swartz at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad. According to testimony, Bivert targeted Swartz because he was a convicted child molester. The California Supreme Court upheld Bivert’s death sentence in 2011.
King, now 43 years old, is at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran.