Broderick Bid to Lessen Murder Charge Denied


The California Supreme Court on Thursday turned down La Jolla socialite Elisabeth Anne (Betty) Broderick’s attempt to strike first-degree murder charges at her second trial.

Without comment, the justices decided not to review Broderick’s claim that the jury at her first trial would have eliminated the first-degree charge if it had been clearly instructed by the judge presiding over the case.

None of the court’s seven judges voted to study the claim, a court clerk said. The 4th District Court of Appeal, the mid-level appellate court in San Diego, rejected the claim about six weeks ago.

Broderick, 43, faces two charges of murder in the Nov. 5, 1989, shooting deaths of her ex-husband, Daniel T. Broderick III, and his new wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick.


Daniel Broderick was a prominent medical malpractice attorney and a former president of the San Diego County Bar Assn. Linda Kolkena Broderick was his office assistant.

Betty Broderick’s first trial ended last Nov. 20 in a hung jury. She has remained at the Las Colinas Jail in Santee since she surrendered to authorities the day of the killings.

The next hearing in the case is set for March 11, when San Diego Superior Court Judge Thomas Whelan is due to ask Deputy Dist. Atty. Kerry Wells, the prosecutor in the case, and Jack Earley, Betty Broderick’s Newport Beach-based defense lawyer, whether an August trial date is feasible.

Earley has said his schedule needs to be cleared to ensure an August date.