- Associated Press - Thursday, September 8, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The California Supreme Court has overturned the death sentence of a man convicted of murder in the slaying of three people during a 1994 robbery in Salinas.

The court in a unanimous ruling Thursday said the judge presiding over Daniel Covarrubias’ trial wrongly excused a prospective juror after the man indicated in a juror questionnaire that he opposed the death penalty.

The state Supreme Court said the prospective juror - a correctional officer - also indicated he could probably set his feelings aside, and the court should have questioned him orally about his views.

It sent the case back down for a new penalty phase.

Monterey County prosecutors said Covarrubias was behind a robbery that ended in the slaying of a husband and wife and the wife’s brother. The couple’s 11-month-old daughter was also shot, but survived.

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