Robert Allen Bacon, 47, was convicted in Solano County Superior Court and sentenced to death in 1999 for the murder, rape and sodomy of Deborah Sammons, 40, on Oct. 26, 1995.
Sammons’ body was found that night in the trunk of her car at the edge of a slough next to Grizzly Island Road in the Suisun Marsh area.
A nighttime fisherman called police after finding the car at the edge of the slough with its engine running and lights on. Bacon later told police he meant to drive the car into the slough and sink it, but it became stuck on the dirt embankment.
Sammons had been strangled and stabbed. DNA evidence linked Bacon to sexual assaults on Sammons.
At the time of the murder, Sammons was separated from her husband, Charles Sammons of Vacaville, and was living with a friend in Vallejo.
Bacon was on parole for an Arizona murder and was living in Vacaville and working as a maintenance mechanic for a skydiving business.
Bacon and Charles Sammons both later admitted that the husband had asked Bacon to kill his wife and that both men took part in disposing of the body. Each claimed the other did the actual killing.
After Bacon was convicted of murder, Charles Sammons pleaded no contest to a charge of first-degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
In today’s ruling, issued in San Francisco, the state high court rejected Bacon’s challenges to evidence rulings and jury instructions at his trial.
Bacon can now pursue further appeals in the federal court system.
Julia Cheever, Bay City News