Jury finds Nissensohn guilty of three murders

Eric Heinz
Joseph Nissensohn awaits trail proceedings earlier in October at El Dorado County Superior court. Nissensohn was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder Thursday.
Eric Heinz / Tahoe Daily Tribune | Tahoe Daily Tribune

Joseph Michael Nissensohn, 62, could be sentenced to death after being convicted Thursday of three counts of first-degree murder.

Nissensohn will be sentenced Nov. 12 in El Dorado County Superior Court in South Lake Tahoe.

Nissensohn was charged with the murder of 15-year-old South Lake Tahoe resident Kathy Graves in 1989 and the 1981 murders of 13-year-old Tammy Jarschke and 14-year-old Tanya Jones in Seaside, Calif.

He had already served 15 years for second-degree murder in Washington state prior to his Thursday conviction.

Due to California’s special circumstance laws, because Nissensohn was found guilty of multiple murders and convicted of murder once before, he is eligible for the death penalty.

He waived the second deliberation to have the jury decide whether his ex-wife, Cheryl Rose, was an accomplice in the murders. Rose implicated Nissensohn in the three murders shortly after his first sentence ended.

She died in 2011 in Ocala, Fla., according to court documents.

The jury trial has been ongoing since May, and the jury had deliberated for three days since Oct. 24.

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