Man convicted in 'Craigslist killing' gets new trial
SEATTLE -- Derek Sanders thinks of what his family has been through over the last four years and so little of it makes sense.
Especially when one of his brother's killers will get another opportunity to prove his innocence.
"My brother doesn't get a second chance. He's gone. He's going to be gone forever," Sanders said of his brother Jim.
The man at the center of the case, Clabon Berniard, was sentenced to more than 123 years in prison for his convictions of murder, robbery, assault, and burglary.
On Tuesday though, the State Court of Appeals overturned Berniard's conviction because of "structural error" in the trial court's dismissal of a juror. The ruling also found that there was "admission of testimony concerning incriminating out-of-court statements."
Berniard, like the three others charged in the case, was accused of taking part in the botched robbery and murder of Jim Sanders in 2010.
Sanders, 43, was fatally shot when Berniard and three others forced their way into his home after pretending to be interested in buying a ring he had listed on the Craigslist website. Sanders' wife, Charlene, and their 14- and 10-year-old sons were inside the home in Edgewood during the attack.
Now Berniard may get out of prison.
"He had a fair trial. He had a more than fair trial. And now because of some stupid loophole and technicality, we all have to go through this again," Derek Sanders said.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said the "...evidence remains strong. We will retry the case. I'm sorry the Sanders family has to go through this against but there will be justice."
The family is weary of putting the children through more trauma and testimony. The case will continue though.
Sanders said he trusts Linquist's office and wants justice to come, even if it is delayed again.
"We don't fault them for what happened. It's more a fault of the system," he said.