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Former Inmate Allegedly Admitted to Killing Mother, But Pleaded Not Guilty

Dennis Stanworth, a former death row inmate, will return to court next month.

By Bay City News

FAIRFIELD (BCN) - A Vallejo man pleaded not guilty in Solano County Superior Court Friday to killing his 90-year-old mother.

Dennis Stanworth, 70, did not try to plead guilty to the murder Friday as did at his first court appearance last week, Deputy District Attorney Karen Jensen said.

He will return to court Feb. 21 for possible setting of a preliminary hearing date.

Stanworth is charged with killing his mother, Nellie Turner Stanworth, of American Canyon, in his Marshfield Road home on Wednesday.

Vallejo police said he admitted the murder to a police dispatcher during a phone call around noon Wednesday. Police and prosecutors still have not said how the woman died, and the coroner's office has not released the results of an autopsy.

Jensen said Stanworth also is charged in the criminal complaint with the special circumstance of having committed two previous murders and is eligible for the death penalty.

Stanworth avoided the death penalty for kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing two Pinole teenage girls 1966.

He pleaded guilty to the charges and asked for the death penalty.

The state Supreme Court overturned his sentence, however and Stanworth was sentenced to life in prison. He eventually was paroled in 1990 as a registered sex offender.

Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.


  • Former Death Row Inmate Allegedly Kills Own Mother
Johnna S. Barlow-Jackson January 19, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Am I reading this right? 17 yrs ago this maniac kills and "sexually assaults (2) teenagers, and had now killed his own mother?? Wow! he had to register as a "sex offender" what about him having to spend the rest of his "natural" life imprisoned?? Am I the only person sickened by this? we have people spending their lives in prison for say bank robbery although not right surely not as heinous as this. What the hell is wrong here???
Bill Bennett January 20, 2013 at 02:01 AM
The girls were kidnapped, assaulted and kill in 1966.
Tom Butler January 22, 2013 at 10:49 PM
He was convicted of 3 or 4 rapes along with the 2 murders. However, when he was arrested,19 additional women came forward and said that he had also raped them. The prosecuter felt that since Stanworth would never be free again, there would be no purpose in prosecuting him for the 19 other rapes. After his arrest, he also admitted that he put razor blades in car seats when he saw women leave their car doors unlocked. Sick SOB! There was such a cover up when he was released; victims and families weren't notified about his last parole hearing so that they could attend, he was taken out of prison in the middle of the night, allowed to use an alias, and the story goes on. A book could be written about his release but finding someone to admit the coverup is another story.
BRG February 03, 2013 at 06:41 PM
I want to read that story. Names of the officials responsible for his release. Their responses to this murder.
phil c. February 06, 2013 at 12:38 AM
Dear Mr. Butler thank you for putting out those details. This is nice to hear. I will assume you have a connection to this. Did you realize that not long after his release a man fitting his description was found putting razor blades into seats again.....
Tom Butler February 06, 2013 at 06:17 AM
Phil, do you live in Ohio? If so, I'll call you with some new information.
phil c. February 06, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Yes sir. Do I know you
Bill Bennett February 07, 2013 at 03:24 AM
Were any of you commenters living in the area, as I was, when Stanworth kidnapped the children?


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