Nissensohn gets death penalty |

Nissensohn gets death penalty

Tom Lotshaw
Joseph Nissensohn sits shackled in a South Lake Tahoe courtroom, Oct. 10, 2008.
Tahoe Daily Tribune file | Jonah M. Kessel / Tahoe Daily Tr

An El Dorado County jury has supported the death penalty for convicted triple murderer Joseph Michael Nissensohn. The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Tuesday after two days of testimony.

“Our thoughts are with the many victims of this man who have waited far too long for justice to be served,” El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson said in a formal statement. “While nothing we can do can bring back their loved ones, it’s our hope this outcome gives them some small measure of closure.”

In October, Nissensohn was convicted of murdering three California teens: Kathy Graves of South Lake Tahoe in 1989 and Tammy Jarschke and Tanya Jones, both of Seaside, in 1981.

Nissensohn was previously convicted of second-degree murder for the 1989 killing of Sally Jo Tsaggaris in Washington state and due to be released at the end of his sentence in 2008 when charged with the California murders.

In agreement with the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office consolidated all three murders to be tried at the same time. Cold case homicide investigators from both counties began compiling all of the evidence and witnesses needed for trial.

“Complex cases such as this require a team effort and I am very pleased with everyone who contributed in the prosecution of this case. Thousands of hours were dedicated to making sure Mr. Nissensohn was held accountable for his actions and without a doubt our community is a safer place without him in it,” Pierson said.

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