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Danielle van Dam case: California Supreme Court upholds David Westerfield death sentence

Posted at 11:42 AM, Feb 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-04 15:32:59-05

(KGTV) - The California Supreme Court Monday upheld the conviction and death sentence for David Westerfield, the man found guilty of killing 7-year-old Danielle van Dam in 2002.

Young Danielle was reported missing from her Sabre Springs home on Feb. 2, 2002, and her disappearance led to a search that spanned all of San Diego County.

Investigators gathered enough evidence to arrest Westerfield, a neighbor of Danielle and her family, for her disappearance and death on Feb. 22.

Five days later, Danielle’s badly decomposed body was found along Dehesa Road in Harbison Canyon.

In August 2002, Westerfield was found guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping and child porn possession. He was sentenced to death and is currently on death row at San Quentin State Prison in Northern California.

On Monday, the court ruled that Westerfield’s sentence will remain despite his legal team’s request for a new trial and opposition to the state’s death penalty law.

Westerfield's legal team can ask that the U.S. Supreme Court review the state court's decision.