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Man Who Killed Dave Navarro’s Mother Has Death Sentence Overturned

Dave Navarro
Gustavo Caballero, Getty Images

The man convicted of killing the mother of Jane’s Addiction and former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Dave Navarro has had his death sentence overturned. John Riccardi had been on death row since 1994 for the 1983 murders of Connie Hopkins Navarro, his then-girlfriend, and her best friend, Susan Marshall Jory.

According to the California Supreme Court, Riccardi, now 76, did not receive a fair trial because the original trial’s judge did not properly question a prospective juror about her views on the death penalty before dismissing her. The ruling follows a 1984 U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding jury selection in capital punishment cases.

The murder conviction was not overturned, so Riccardi, who was captured in Houston in 1991 after Navarro appeared on the television show ‘America’s Most Wanted,’ will still spend the rest of his life in prison.

Navarro has said that he was originally supposed to have stayed with his mother on the night of the murders, but decided to stay with his father instead. That night, Riccardi broke into her house and shot the two women when they arrived. Had Navarro been there, he believes he also would have been killed.

There has been no comment from Navarro on the ruling.

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