Trial date set in Tahoe cold case |

Trial date set in Tahoe cold case

Cole Mayer and Adam Jensen

Bail has been denied, and a trial date set, for a man accused of killing a South Lake Tahoe teenager more than three decades ago.

El Dorado County Superior Court Judge James Wagoner denied a request by Erik Schlueter, the attorney for Andrew Sanford, to set an amount for Sanford’s bail during a Friday hearing in Placerville.

Sanford is accused of killing 16-year-old gas station attendant Richard Swanson in 1980. He has been held without bail since being arrested in March 2012.

On Friday, Wagoner set a trial date in the case for Oct. 1. The trial is expected to last six weeks.

During the hearing, Schlueter argued Sanford’s bail should be reduced because the case was no longer being considered for the death penalty.

Schlueter also argued bail should be reduced because the allegations stem from a more than 20-year-old incident, and Sanford’s conduct since then, except for a 2010 case concerning false imprisonment and domestic violence, has been exemplary.

Sanford has no job and no home, but is a mechanic and could find both, Schlueter said. He noted Sanford has friends in Sacramento that would help him get on his feet.

El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney Trish Kelliher asked Wagoner to continue holding Sanford without bail, saying Sanford has no ties to the community, a “lack of civility” and employment and a “rather substantial” criminal list. She also noted Sanford disappeared after the Swanson slaying.

The flight, Schlueter said, was so Sanford could live with his mother and sister in Los Angeles.

Wagoner said in his decision to deny bail that, while the death penalty was no longer being considered, Sanford could still be sentenced to life without parole.

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