VISALIA, California (KGPE) – The last witness took the stand in Tulare County Superior Court on Wednesday to testify about what happened the week after Exeter Police Officer Daniel Green was murdered.
Daniel Green was shot dead in his home on Feb. 6, 2015. His ex-wife, Erika Sandoval, was arrested the next day as the prime suspect in the murder. Daniel’s identical twin brother Matthew was awarded emergency custody of Sandoval and Daniel’s 2-year-old son.
Matthew told the court he went to pick up the boy from Sandoval’s parents’ home on Feb. 13 and he described the toddler running out towards him.
“So we were outside of the front door and I heard him yelling daddy,” said Matthew. “And he was screaming for me.”
“What happened after that?” asked Prosecuting Attorney David Alavezos.
“He ran and gave me and my wife a hug. He thought I was Daniel,” replied Matthew.
Being that Matthew and Daniel looked exactly alike, the young boy often couldn’t tell them apart.
“Did he have problems understanding that it was two different people?” asked Alavezos.
“Yes,” Matthew said as tears filled his eyes. “Yes, he did.”
Matthew and his wife continue to take care of the boy following his brother’s death. Now, nearly 5 years later, the murder trial is almost over. Dozens of witnesses have taken the stand, including Daniel’s alleged killer and mother two his child, Erika Sandoval.
Sandoval testified that she did shoot and kill her ex-husband after breaking into his home. The jury is now tasked with deciding whether the crime she committed was manslaughter or murder lying in wait.
Defense Attorney Dan Chambers said he and his client are ready for the verdict.
“She feels really good about the defense that we put forth,” said Chambers. “She feels good about the evidence that is before the jury, now. But like anybody else, given what is at stake she is kind of nervous about what is going to happen.”
Closing arguments are expected Thursday morning.