Ca. Supreme Court Won’t Review Case of Appliance Repairwoman’s Murder

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The California Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to review the case of a Lancaster man convicted of strangling a woman sent home to repair a refrigerator.

Williams Franklin Hughes, 34, was convicted of first degree murder on July 14, 2017 for the murder of Lyndi Fisher in May 2019.

In February, a three-judge panel of the California 2nd District Court of Appeals rejected the defense’s allegation that there was insufficient evidence against Hughes to support the jury’s determination of intent and deliberation.

The appeals court found that there was “overwhelming evidence” against Hughes in connection with the murder of the 36-year-old woman at his home on the 43200 block of Doverwood Court.

“Evidence of motive also supported the determination of premeditation and deliberation, as the jury could reasonably have concluded that the complainant was motivated to kill Fisher in retaliation for her perceived role in planting or retrieving a monitor in his refrigerator,” said the 71-page page of the panel ruling states.

The appeals court found that prosecutors suggested that Fisher may have denied a sexual assault by Hughes, which may have motivated him to kill her.

Supreme Court Justice Carlos Chung, who was called upon after the jury tried Hughes to determine whether the defendant was healthy or insane at the time of the murder, subsequently found that he was healthy.

“Substantial evidence supported the court’s finding that the preponderance of evidence failed to demonstrate that the applicant was unable to understand the illegality of the murder of Fisher when he killed her,” the appeals court found.

Hughes first told the detectives that an intruder pressed a gun to his eye and ordered him to go for a walk at gunpoint, the judges found. He said he took a 45-minute walk and then spent two hours in the house before finding Fischer’s body in the garage, claiming not to know what happened to her.

In his sixth interview with a forensic psychiatrist, he said he remembered strangling Fisher and became suspicious of her for looking under the refrigerator, putting something in her pocket, and believing she was there for evidence using a monitoring device to collect him after the judgment.

Hughes, who was arrested the day after the murder, was sentenced to 55 years in state prison. However, the appeals court ordered that the case should be sent back to the court for the judge to determine whether, at his own discretion, he should seek improvement, extending Hughes’ sentence by five years.

The Supreme Court is not going to review the equipment repair woman’s murder was last changed: April 14, 2021 by Contributing Editor

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