WESTLAKE : Slain Nurses’s Son Will Not Testify
Ventura County prosecutors on Friday lost their bid to force a judge to hear testimony from the 6-year-old son of slain Westlake nurse Kellie O’Sullivan at her killer’s death-penalty hearing, which starts Monday.
The 2nd District Court of Appeal in Ventura denied the writ after it was transferred there by the state Supreme Court, Deputy Dist. Atty. Kevin G. DeNoce said.
On Thursday, prosecutors filed the emergency appeal with the state’s highest court.
They sought to overturn reverse a Jan. 13 decision by Superior Court Judge Charles R. McGrath, who is excluding testimony from O’Sullivan’s son and other relatives during the hearing for Mark Scott Thornton.
Thornton, 20, kidnaped the 33-year-old nurse outside a Thousand Oaks pet store Sept. 14, 1993, and later fatally shot her. A jury convicted him of first-degree murder with a special circumstance that makes him eligible for a death sentence.
The death-penalty hearing is expected to last more than a month, lawyers said. Prosecutors will begin presenting evidence after opening statements from both sides.