Produced by Paul LaRosa
The murder of Exeter Police Officer Daniel Green rocked his California community, leaving behind the family of the beloved policeman struggling with life without him.
Green was found dead after he didn’t show up for work.
“On the day of the incident Daniel was supposed to come into work right before me,” says former Exeter Police Officer Alex Geiger. “So, when I got to the police station, I asked the lieutenant where Daniel was? … You get this gut feeling that something’s wrong — that something bad was happening.”
Initially, investigators wondered whether his death was related to his police work. Soon after, they would learn it was a bad relationship that exploded into violence.
“It was … a very toxic relationship,” Daniel Green’s sister Misty Gray tells “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty. Gray and her brother Matt Green – Daniel’s identical twin – speak out in their first network TV interview.
“When everything was going the way they should be in her eyes, she was pleasant to be around. She was social, and she was nice,” says Matt Green. “She was kind … it’s only when things went bad or things didn’t go her way that she became nasty and things got ugly between the two of them … And from what I saw, the bad was really bad.”
Sandoval was arrested and charged with her ex-husband’s murder. Officer Green was killed just one week after he posted an image on Instagram with his new, younger girlfriend.
What led to Daniel Green’s death? Did the picture posted on social media lead Sandoval to crack? Or did Sandoval shoot Green after what she claimed were years of physical abuse? Or was it the stunning tale Sandoval told when she took the witness stand at her murder trial?
D.A. Tim Ward | Tulare County, Calif: On February 6, 2015 in mid-afternoon, time stood still in Tulare County … when we in the law enforcement community … came to find out that Daniel Green was executed that afternoon in the sanctity and privacy of his own home.
District Attorney Tim Ward says Police Officer Daniel Green was ambushed at a moment when he was most vulnerable.
DA Tim Ward: He was executed, you know? … Here’s a man who was literally, figuratively, on the toilet when he was shot.
Green was 31 years old and an 11-year veteran of the Exeter Police Department. He was murdered at his home in Goshen, part of Tulare County, a bucolic area of central California lined with farmland and orchards.
DA Tim Ward: This crime, when this happened, really ripped apart not only this small town that he was from and a police officer in, but kind of the law enforcement community as well.
The killer fired four bullets at Green — the fatal shot hitting him in the forehead. He was found lying on his back in the bathtub where he had stumbled. Later that afternoon, when Daniel did not report to work, an Exeter Police supervisor became concerned.
DA Tim Ward: … one of his fellow officers is the one that discovered him that day.
No neighbors heard the shots or called 911. No eyewitnesses saw the killer enter or leave the house and the killer fled with the murder weapon. So, with one bullet fired directly into Daniel’s forehead, investigators had to consider the possibility that this was a professional hit.
Hours into the investigation, detectives were just piecing together the facts. They knew Daniel Green was at that point divorced and living alone and that he had had a tumultuous relationship with his ex-wife Erika Sandoval. But she had rushed to the scene after a friend texted her and was teary-eyed when she spoke with police. She denied seeing Daniel that day.
Matt Green: If it had been years earlier, I think I would have automatically assumed it was her but … we just seen them together you know a month before … And it didn’t seem like there was any tension … I just didn’t know. I didn’t know what had happened …
Matt Green, Daniel’s identical twin brother, and their younger sister Misty Gray were overcome and terrified.
Misty Gray: I was confused … I didn’t know what to think … I actually slept next to a gun because I didn’t know if it was work related … I just didn’t know.
Ever since that initial shock, Misty says she’s struggled to cope with her new reality.
Misty Gray [emotional]: We will never be the same. Never. My life will forever be changed by this. That’s just how it is now.
Daniel, Misty, and Matt had grown up in nearby Porterville, California.
Matt Green: We were kind of like a team.
Misty Gray: It was the three of us against the world type of thing.
As teens, the Green boys found their calling when Daniel became friendly with a local cop.
Misty Gray: Daniel took a shine to him.
Matt Green: … it was probably about the age of 14 that he did decide that he wanted to be a police officer.
Matt is now a lawyer, but, like Daniel, he also started out as a police officer.
Misty Gray: I always thought it was neat that my big brothers who were twins were both police officers at the same time. And I actually have the same photo of the two of them. And I cherish it.
Daniel Green settled into his job where he became known as a hard-nosed, by the book cop. But off the job, Daniel was more of a free spirit. He even joined a local motorcycle club that calls itself Team Flatline.
Erin Moriarty: That’s a little odd name for a motorcycle club isn’t it?
James Bonds: Yeah. it’s just showing that Team Flatline — you’re gonna ride until you go until you flatline. It’s the love of riding.
Club member James Bonds [yes, you heard it right] grew close to Daniel.
Erin Moriarty: So, you and Daniel bonded over motorcycles. Right. What is it that you love about?
James Bonds: It’s a freedom. It’s an escape. Some people go hunting. Some people go fishing. Some people drink. But it’s when you’re on a bike you’re just free.
Those who knew Daniel Green say he enjoyed the fast lane on a bike and also when he was dating.
Erin Moriarty: How would you describe the women that Daniel would date? Did he date a lot growing up?
Matt Green: I’ll let you take that one.
Misty Gray: Thanks for that. Daniel liked to date. I don’t know if he liked the attention, but he definitely liked to date. That’s for sure. … There was a period of probably two years where every family function there was someone new.
Matt Green: And we were getting together pretty regularly.
Misty Gray: We were getting together a lot.
At the end of 2009, Daniel met Erika Sandoval and his revolving door of girlfriends stopped.
Misty Gray: I think he loved her. In his way, he wanted the family. He wanted so desperately to have a family. Matt was married. By then, I was married, and he was the only one that was not.
Erika became part of Daniel’s family, but she was about to turn his world upside down.
DANIEL AND ERIKA
Matt Green says he doesn’t remember much about how Daniel Green met Erika Sandoval, but he does recall his brother being “excited” about what was then a new relationship.
Matt Green: He was infatuated with her.
Angelica Ramirez: It’s like a little girl, like, you know, when they candy. They get super excited.
Erika’s friend Angelica Ramirez says there’s no doubt Erika — at least initially — felt the same way about Daniel.
Angelica Ramirez: She was so into Daniel.
Erin Moriarty: Was she?
Angelica Ramirez: She was!
Erika was from a close-knit middle-class family from Southern California who had moved to Visalia during her high school years. Erika’s brother, David Sandoval, says that, as the only daughter in the family, Erika was made to feel special.
David Sandoval: … we spoiled her in any kind of way … she was the only girl, so she was the princess.
When she turned 15 years old, her family threw her a party — a traditional quinceanera. Erika’s whole life was in front of her.
David Sandoval:She wanted to find the right guy and then, obviously, start having a family.
Less than a year after Daniel and Erika met, they surprised their friends and family by getting married in Las Vegas. Daniel was 26 years old, Erika was 23.
Misty Gray: I remember getting a text message at 10 o’clock at night with a picture … of a marriage license in Vegas …
A few weeks later, Erika’s family threw her a wedding reception and Erika did it up big —complete with a wedding gown.
Herb Adame: It was a happy time. I think that’s what she wanted and that’s what he wanted at the time.
Daniel’s motorcycle buddy Herb Adame attended even though he was no fan of Erika’s.
Herb Adame: A few things happened before they even actually got married. And I pulled Daniel aside and I said, “Dude, don’t marry this chick.”
Erin Moriarty: Tell me why? What happened that made you say that?
Herb Adame: It was all the incidents at the house.
Adame says Daniel had told him the story about Erika cutting up the furniture with a razor blade. Matt Green had seen that damage firsthand, and both he and Misty, on separate occasions, said they had heard Daniel crying after Erika laced into him.
Matt Green: It devastated me to hear my brother crying … And to hear the way that she was talking to him, it broke my heart …
Misty Gray: Erika was trying to create a rift in the family between us.
To Misty and Matt, it all felt far too familiar. The reason the Green siblings were so close, they say, is because they grew up in a troubled home with an abusive stepfather.
Erin Moriarty: Alcohol?
Matt Green: Drugs, alcohol abuse, stuff like that.
Erin Moriarty: Were any of you abused?
Matt Green: Physical abuse and neglect and stuff.
Erin Moriarty: Would your stepfather hit you with his hand or with –
Matt Green: Hands, belts, boards, I guess whatever was laying around.
Matt and Misty’s stepfather had a long criminal record that included arrests for assault, domestic violence and driving under the influence. The Green boys often took the brunt for Misty who was three years younger.
Misty Gray: Matthew and Daniel always protected me. They would get in between my stepdad trying to physically harm us … when I would get scared, I would go crawl in bed with my brothers.
Their mother at one point did get a restraining order against their stepfather who is now dead. The domestic abuse that Matt and Misty saw as children seemed to be repeating itself with Daniel and Erika.
Matt Green: In the case of my brother … He was the one constantly being controlled and isolated and verbally and emotionally abused.
Erin Moriarty: As an officer he would run into women who are being abused. Would he not recognize himself in that same situation?
Matt Green: I think he did … he just probably felt like he had nothing he could do about it. You know, that he was maybe trapped in a cycle.
Caity Meader: I think men don’t come forward for many of the same reasons that women don’t come forward when they are experiencing domestic violence.
Caity Meader is chief executive of Tulare Family Services and she says she recently expanded the Visalia women’s shelter to include rooms for the men who were fleeing the abuse of their female partners.
Erin Moriarty: Erika would … cut up mattresses and couches … is that domestic abuse?
Caity Meader: Absolutely … property damage is very common … female victims … will often describe, “well while my partner never hit me. But he did punch a hole in the wall.” And, so, there’s this threat of physical violence … “If I can do this to your property, if I can do this to the things that you love, what can I do to you?”
But Angelica Ramirez says Erika told her that Daniel was the abuser.
Angelica Ramirez: She would tell me constantly that he would grab her and choke her … she told me that he choked her and that she felt she was going to pass out.
The problems in Daniel and Erika’s marriage came to a head in February 2011. Neighbor Josh Miller witnessed the confrontation.
Josh Miller: She was cussing at him and this and that … it sounded like she was like trying to get him to put hands on her. But he knew … as an officer, you’re not going to do that because he’s not going to risk his career.
Josh Miller: …at that point, he’s like, “just call the cops, Josh. Call the cops” … And I dialed 911.
The police came and both Daniel and Erika were arrested for domestic abuse. No charges were filed against either of them. That was the last straw for both — divorce papers were filed, and the marriage was officially over in January 2012, a little more than a year after it began.
Matt Green: I remember thinking he escaped this without, you know, anything terrible happening. And that maybe he could get peace. And be happy.
But then came news that Erika was pregnant with Daniel’s child.
Misty Gray: I was like, “Geez, he’s stuck with her for 18 years.”
A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP
The marriage of Daniel Green and his wife Erika Sandoval was over, but not the relationship. Just months after the divorce, Erika began telling close friends, like Angelica Ramirez, that she was pregnant with Daniel’s baby. It was the spring of 2012.
Angelica Ramirez: And I was mad.
Erin Moriarty: You were?
Angelica Ramirez: It was the one thing I told her not to do.
Erin Moriarty: And how did she feel about having a baby?
Angelica Ramirez: I think she had mixed emotions.
But those “mixed emotions” did not stop Erika from moving back in with Daniel. His siblings Matt and Misty were apprehensive but hoped for the best.
Misty Gray: When she got pregnant with Aiden, Matt and I tried again. We’re going to put all of the past behind us, we’re going to try and bring her into our family. And see what happens …
But a big part of Daniel’s life was riding his motorcycle, and that did not sit well with Erika.
Matt Green: She hated that motorcycle.
Misty Gray: Yep, despised it.
Matt Green: He’d get on his bike and take off and she couldn’t sit next to him in the passenger seat, yelling at him.
Arguments about the motorcycle came to a head one day when Daniel was out riding with his friend Mark Cortes. They reached a busy intersection and Cortes says he was shocked when he watched Daniel blow right through a red light.
Mark Cortes: So, we stopped there and I’m like, “Hey what’s going on man?”
Daniel told Cortes that his brakes had failed.
Mark Cortes: He grabbed both hands and he just grabbed all … the wires and he just pulled them out. It was — all the wires were all cut up. And I’m like, “Oh my goodness, this is crazy.”
Daniel told Cortes that he had no doubt who had cut them.
Erin Moriarty: He had no question it was Erika.
Mark Cortes: Yeah.
Erika later downplayed it to a friend and said she “just snipped wires.” It was a harrowing incident, but Daniel never reported it to the police and initially didn’t even tell his siblings.
Matt Green: And he hid a lot of the stuff that was going on. I think he knew that it would upset us.
No one quite knows why, but Daniel continued to live with Erika and on January 5, 2013, their son Aiden was born.
Matt Green: I don’t have any doubt that the day his son was born was the happiest day of his life.
Daniel, Erika and the baby all lived in his house in Goshen, and outwardly, it seemed a happy time.
Misty Gray: There were times where everything was good. They were happy.
Herb Adame: He was just a proud father. It changed him.
Daniel even sold his beloved motorcycle.
James Bonds: … him having a kid was the best thing for him … On his Facebook every day it was a picture of his kid. … That was his life. That was his pride and joy.
But Facebook is not real life, and behind closed doors the tension was mounting. In June of 2013, about six months after Aiden was born, Daniel asked Erika to move out. She did, but she took Aiden with her.
Aiden’s absence shook Daniel but made him determined to fight for custody.
The couple began to engage in a war of words: nasty and contentious texts between Daniel and Erika became part of the court record.
Dan Chambers is Erika’s lawyer.
Dan Chambers: There’s a lot of bitterness and anger throughout these text messages, no question about it … Daniel does call Erika some very bad names in here and Erika does the same.
And yet, inexplicably, no matter how bad it got — the draw was still there — and the couple continued to spend an occasional night together.
Caity Meader: We know that children who are raised in homes where there’s been domestic violence or other abuse are much more likely to end up in these types of relationships going forward … you will model relationships that have been modeled for you.
One night in the fall of 2014, when the couple was once again sleeping together, Daniel told friends he got the shock of his life when he awoke to find Erika pointing a gun at his head.
Erin Moriarty: He told you that she woke up, dreamed that he had been with another woman and held a gun to his head. What did she say to him at that point?
Herb Adame: She said that she was going to kill him.
Erin Moriarty: If he left her.
Herb Adame: Yeah. Or if he cheated on her.
Daniel and Erika went their separate ways yet again but came together in January 2015 to celebrate Aiden’s second birthday with a family party. Matt and Misty were watching them closely. It was one month before Daniel’s murder.
Misty Gray: We thought that Daniel and Erika were getting back together … Before we all left, Daniel actually kissed her on the cheek. And I was like, “Yep it’s going to happen … maybe it’s the right time now. Maybe they’re finally growing up and it’s OK. And as long as everybody is happy that’s all that matters.”
But then weeks later, Daniel told friends he was dating a new woman.
Matt Green: I think he probably expressed that this was somebody that was gonna be around — maybe forever.
Erin Moriarty: You think that really is what set everything off.
Matt Green I do.
Misty Gray: I really thought one day she would kill him.
A SURPRISE AT TRIAL
The morning of February 6, 2015, Daniel Green dropped off his son Aiden with Erika Sandoval’s mother and then went to the gym. But shortly after he returned home, Tulare District Attorney Tim Ward says Daniel was shot dead with bullet wounds to his hand, his chest, neck and forehead.
DA Tim Ward: This was not anything other than a cold-blooded, calculated execution.
The next day, sheriff deputies — aware of the toxic relationship Daniel had with his ex-wife, Erika — brought her in for questioning and her stories started to shift.
Dan Chambers: There are recorded interviews where different statements are given.
Erika had said she hadn’t been inside Daniel’s house in “weeks,” but investigators told her that a neighbor’s surveillance camera told a different story.
DA Tim Ward: The video that is out there shows a female enter into that home.
Investigators were not able to ID the woman in the video, but they tricked Erika — telling her they knew it was her. Detectives placed Erika under arrest, and they say she confessed and led them to an empty lot where they recovered the murder weapon: a Kahr 9mm gun belonging to her former husband.
The evidence against Erika seemed overwhelming, but nearly five years pass before her first-degree murder trial finally begins on October 1, 2019.
Assistant District Attorney David Alavezos tells jurors Erika killed Danielfeaturing his new 20-year-old girlfriend Brenda Vela.
Erin Moriarty: Is it possible that Daniel Green would still be alive if he had never posted that picture on social media?
DA Tim Ward: That’s an impossible question. But you wonder. It’s such a tragedy that we’ll never know. We’ll never know.
But it does point to motive and Alavezos shows jurors what was found in Erika’s purse when she was booked: a yellow sticky note with Brenda Vela’s name and birth year. Erika also bombarded Daniel with 167 phone calls in the days leading up to the murder.
Misty Gray | Daniel Green’s sister: I think when Erika found out that the girl was hanging out with her son and that kind of made her snap.
Yet, when it’s his turn, defense attorney Dan Chambers shifts the spotlight away from Erika to Daniel Green himself, and, in essence, puts the dead police officer on trial for the way he treated his ex-wife.
DAN CHAMBERS [in court]: And at the end of the day he was abusive…
Chambers says Daniel Green would obsessively record their verbal battles, like a recording when the couple is fighting over Aiden who was a baby at that point:
ERIKA SANDOVAL: Give him back to me Daniel.
DANIEL GREEN: Don’t touch me. You’re gonna f—ing regret this. … Don’t hit me. OK, alright. You’re going to jail you [expletive].
But only one person can really talk about what happened the day Daniel was murdered, and so Chambers takes an extraordinary and risky step and puts Erika on the stand.
Dan Chambers | Defense attorney: It was a collective decision– and it wasn’t an easy decision.
In direct testimony, Erika begins with a litany of stories about the abuse she claims she suffered from Daniel over the years:
ERIKA SANDOVAL: At that point we were arguing a lot.
ERIKA SANDOVAL: He grabbed me by the shirt, my shirt, and he started shaking me back and forth and as he was yelling in my face, “Shut the f— up.” … And he’s like, you know, “I could f—ing kill you and make it look like an accident.” … That’s when he grabbed me from my ponytail and he slammed my head in the dashboard while I was holding Aiden.
There was a witness to that incident, but Erika did not call police then and says she rarely reported abuse because Daniel was a cop.
DA Tim Ward: … it appears now the that objective of some of this is to murder his memory.
And as horrible as the relationship was, Erika admits that she and Daniel continued to have sex. Again, she blames Daniel:
ERIKA SANDOVAL: He would allow me extra time with Aiden in order — to go over and do a sexual act with him.
DAN CHAMBERS | DEFENSE ATTORNEY: So, why did you feel you had to do those things?
ERIKA SANDOVAL: I preferred a happy Daniel as opposed to an angry Daniel.
She testifies the two even had phone sex on February 5, 2015. Just one day later, she tells jurors, she showed up at Daniel’s house to just snoop around:
ERIKA SANDOVAL: I saw the kitchen window, and I figured I’d try to see if it was open. So, I took off the screen and I wedged it and it was open.
Moving through the house, Erika says she grabbed two of Daniel’s guns. Erika spotted Daniel’s open safe and found what she says were two photos depicting child pornography:
ERIKA SANDOVAL: The first picture I saw, um, it was like a girl. She looked to be maybe, like, 12, 13, next to a bed.
Her story takes the prosecution by surprise; Erika had never mentioned the photos in any of her previous statements.
DA Tim Ward: That was the very first time that we ever had even heard that or anything close to that.
Ward says no such photos were found. But Erika insists she saw them and left them in the safe:
ERIKA SANDOVAL: It just made me think, like, fantasies that he, like, had with me … the school girl outfits he’d want me to wear … I thought, you know, like, is he watching this kind of stuff around my son?
DAN CHAMBERS: What’s the next thing you remember doing?
ERIKA SANDOVAL: I heard his truck.
That’s when Erika says she ducked into Aiden’s closet — where she had her ex-husband’s two loaded guns.
One month into her trial, Erika Sandoval explains for the first time publicly how and why she killed her ex-husband Daniel Green. She tells jurors she was obsessed with fears that Daniel may have been abusing their son.
ERIKA SANDOVAL: I was thinking about Aiden … I didn’t know if he was doing stuff to Aiden.
Erika explains how she hurried into her son’s bedroom closet when Daniel came home that afternoon.
ERIKA SANDOVAL: And I heard him coming down the hallway, passing by the room … I was scared. I didn’t know where he was going.
When Daniel was in the bathroom, Erika says she “snapped” and did the unthinkable.
ERIKA SANDOVAL: I stepped out of the closet … I stepped out of Aiden’s room. I stood right there in front of Daniel when he was on the toilet.
ERIKA SANDOVAL As soon as he saw me, he said, “I’m going to f—–g kill you.” And he started getting up as soon as I started raising my arm, and I shot.
DAN CHAMBERS | DEFENSE ATTORNEY: How many times?
ERIKA SANDOVAL: I don’t know how many times I shot, but I know I shot.
It’s such a shocking admission that her attorney Dan Chambers tries his best to take some of the edge off:
DAN CHAMBERS: Do you regret what you did?
ERIKA SANDOVAL [crying]: I regret a lot. Of course, I regret it. Every day. I regret it every day.
DAN CHAMBERS: What has it cost you?
ERIKA SANDOVAL: My son. My family.
Erika sticks to her story even when cross-examined by Assistant District Attorney David Alavezos, who clearly doubts her claim about finding photos of child porn:
PROSECUTOR DAVID ALAVEZOS: You know they’re not in the report, so you just expected them to magically show up?
ERIKA SANDOVAL: No. I advised my attorney as to what I saw.
DAVID ALAVEZOS: And nobody else?
ERIKA SANDOVAL: No, just my attorney.
Erika says she deliberately didn’t tell investigators:
ERIKA SANDOVAL: I didn’t trust them … They’ve never given me a reason to trust them. Daniel always told me how they always had each other’s backs.
Matt Green: She’s gonna come up with whatever narrative she thinks will work in getting her off.
The question hangs over the trial: did those child porn photos actually exist or is Erika lying to make her actions more understandable to the jury? Alavezos has an answer.
PROSECUTOR DAVID ALAVEZOS: That’s a disgusting lie to make you feel Daniel’s not worth a murder charge, to devalue him as a human being, that is the sole purpose of it.
But Chambers counters that Daniel had hundreds of pornographic videos and photos of adults on his phone and computers. Chambers also says there were thousands of unknown images that were somehow deleted from Daniel’s cell phone in the years before he was killed.
DAN CHAMBERS | DEFENSE ATTORNEY: … images deleted … Why? What were they? Why would someone need to delete that many photographs or images?
But the more important images, according to the prosecutor, are the ones Erika would rather forget — he forces her to look at photos of Daniel after she shot him:
PROSECUTOR DAVID ALAVEZOS: One of your shots, People’s 7, went right through Daniel’s neck.
ERIKA SANDOVAL [crying]: Yes.
DAVID ALAVEZOS: It’s right up there. Look at it.
ERIKA SANDOVAL: Yes.
After nearly two months, the attorneys make their final arguments. Alavezos tells the jury that Erika was the real abuser and plays more audio and, sometimes, video recordings that Daniel made:
DANIEL GREEN: Erika leave me alone. I need to get ready for work.
ERIKA SANDOVAL: [standing in doorway] You need to chill. I didn’t do anything.
DANIEL GREEN: Leave me alone. Go do your thing.
ERIKA SANDOVAL: I want to talk about what happened.
DANIEL GREEN: I have to get ready for work. What part of that is too difficult for you to understand?
ERIKA SANDOVAL: You don’t have to yell at me. I’m right here.
DANIEL GREEN: leave me alone. Go. Go away. I’m serious. Go.
And in his closing, Dan Chambers puts the blame on both Erika and Daniel — tied together, he says, by a “traumatic bond” that is difficult to understand.
DAN CHAMBERS | DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Both are victims and both are aggressors.
Erin Moriarty: Do you either one of you worry … that there might be one juror –
Misty Gray: My biggest fear is that she won’t pay for what she’s done.
Jurors deliberate for nearly four days until earlier this week, when they tell Judge Joseph Kalashian they can deliberate no more.
JUDGE JOSEPH KALASHIAN: I am going to declare a mistrial at this point.
A mistrial – the jury deadlocked at 11-1 with one single juror refusing to convict Erika of murder in the first degree. Three jurors agreed to discuss that holdout juror.
Bill Walker | Juror: it became evident day after day, hour after hour that she wasn’t going to waiver and the reality of a hung jury started to sink in.
John Whetstone | Juror: he never gave much reasoning behind why she felt the way she did
They said the holdout’s position led to a screaming match between two jurors.
John Whetstone: Tensions started getting high and they started yelling at each other. They were getting emotionally involved.
As for Erika’s allegations that Daniel Green possessed child pornography photos —
Jeremy Yarbro | Juror: There were never any pictures that we saw …
Jeremy Yarbro: You could tell that she obviously lied on the stand … I think a lot of the trial was spent by the defense not defending her but rather attacking Daniel.
Bill Walker: I think every juror had empathy for her, but they also had empathy for him. We saw just how vindictive or forceful she was toward him. Why is she still staying there? Why is he still staying there?
As for the defense, Dan Chambers says he feels good about the mistrial.
Dan Chambers: In the defense world, a hung jury is always considered a win because it means you live to fight again another day.
But Chambers says Erika is adjusting to the reality that she’ll need to sit through another murder trial.
Dan Chambers: Right now she’s gotta process a lot of emotions … she’s kind of a whipsaw of emotions.
Daniel’s sister Misty and his identical twin Matt declined to talk about the mistrial. They are still grappling with the loss of their brother.
Misty Gray: It’s devastating. There’s a hole that’ll never be filled … It’ll never heal. Ever.
The siblings do, however, have at least one reminder of Daniel that brings them joy — his son Aiden, now 6 years old. Erika’s parental rights have been terminated and Matt and his wife decided to adopt the child.
Erin Moriarty: You’re raising Daniel’s son… Was that a tough decision?
Matt Green: No, not at all. …the least I could do is … make sure that he knew how much his father loved him.
Prosecutors plan to retry the murder case against Erika Sandoval sometime next year.