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A Vallejo man pleaded not guilty in Solano County Superior Court today to killing his 90-year-old mother. Dennis Stanworth, 70, did not try to plead guilty to the murder today 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.
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