General Crime

* Sheyna Douprea could face 26 years to life in prison for murder and personal use of a knife in Sonoma County

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A Sonoma County jury this afternoon rejected a 26-year-old woman’s assertion she killed her boyfriend in self-defense in their Healdsburg apartment last December and instead convicted her of first-degree murder. The eight women and four men on the panel were not convinced by Sheyna Douprea’s attorney’s claim that Douprea was acting in self defense when she “poked” boyfriend Daniel Mooney, 46, in the neck with a knife as he choked her on the floor of their apartment on Dec. 14, 2008.  “Self-defense was taken out right away,” said juror Vicki Ranzau of Sonoma. “There was not much to go on there.” Deputy District Attorney Robert Waner said Douprea came home around noon on the day of the stabbing and became angry when the couple was unable to attend a Christmas party because Mooney was intoxicated. Waner said Douprea sat in her bedroom for about eight minutes before she went into Mooney’s room with a knife and stabbed him four times in the left side of his neck as he sat on the edge of his bed. Mooney’s blood alcohol level was 0.35 percent at the time of his death, Waner said. He was barely alive when paramedics arrived, and he died at the apartment, located at 418 Mason St. Douprea had two previous domestic violence convictions, one in Sonoma County and one in Las Vegas, and she had assaulted three other men “multiple times” but was not charged, Waner said after the verdict was announced. Defense attorney Jamie Thistlethwaite told the jury her client had made poor choices in men and was a victim of battered women’s syndrome.  She said Douprea punched and scratched Mooney as he straddled her that day and was “fighting for her life” when she finally stabbed him with a 5-inch pocketknife with a 2-inch blade. Waner said there was no evidence of this, though, and the jury appears to have agreed. A male juror who did not want to be identified said there were “too many inconsistencies” in Douprea’s recorded statements to police.  “We threw out 90 percent of it,” he said. “Her story changed constantly. She was not credible at all.” The jury considered first- and second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter charges. Douprea showed no emotion as the verdict was read. She will be sentenced on Sept. 21 and could face 26 years to life in prison for murder and personal use of a knife.

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