30 year old double murder case in Chico back in headlines

The trial of a former Chico State Student convicted of brutally murdering a prominent Chico couple in 1987 is resurfacing.

Posted: Jan. 10, 2018 5:03 PM
Updated: Jan. 10, 2018 5:17 PM

UPDATE: The judge in the Crittenden case will not make a decision on where the trial will be held this week. The entire case was continued to February 8th.
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The trial of a former Chico State Student convicted of brutally murdering a prominent Chico couple in 1987 is resurfacing.

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Steven Crittenden now 50 years old was convicted two years later of torturing and murdering Dr. William and Katherine Chiapella in their Chico home.

That conviction was overturned by a federal district court on the grounds the only black juror was removed from the jury.

Ramsey says the jury was excused because she did not believe in the death penalty, which the DA's office was seeking.

Attorneys for Crittenden are now trying to remove the Butte County District Attorney's office from the case.

District attorney Mike Ramsey is fighting to keep the trial here in Butte County.

The Chiapellas in their late 60's at the time of their killings had hired Crittenden a former Chico State football player, to do yard work.

The prominent Chicoans were bound and gagged, tortured and stabbed in their home and Mrs. Chiapella was forced to write a check to Crittenden, which he cashed at a local bank.

A judge this week is expected to make a ruling on where the trial will be re-tried.

Crittenden remains in custody at San Quentin State Prison. 

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