It was the trial that captivated Kern County, and for a time, the country: the Sabrina Limon case. Could it happen all over again? Today 17 News was first to get the motion for a new trial, filed by Limon’s attorney.
One of the more memorable parts of the 220 page motion is the line that reads “Sabrina Limon, in biblical terms, was the sacrificial lamb in the trial. Unknowingly she convicted herself.”
Following her conviction of first-degree murder in connection to her husband’s death, Sabrina Limon surprised many by firing her attorney and bringing on a new lawyer with plans to petition for a new trial, delaying the sentencing for three months.
The lengthy motion for the trial is based on attorney Sharon Marshall’s claim that Sabrina had ineffective representation of counsel. Marshall outlines several reasons why, among them, she says Sabrina should have never testified. She says Sabrina herself even knew she would not be good on the stand, though the document also acknowledges that ultimately it was Sabrina’s decision to testify . The documents also reference a 17 News interview with a juror that notes Limon’s testimony did her no favors. Marshall also says even after Richard Terry could clearly see “the ship was sinking”, he chose to go to a jazz concert instead of preparing her for cross examination.
The motion continues that Terry let Jonathan Hearn take control on the stand, where Hearn was “as polished as a U.S. senator” instead of showing his true colors as a cold blooded murderer.
Marshall also points out that Terry focused more on trying to get jurors to sympathize with Limon, instead of focusing on evidence that would prove she didn’t want her husband dead and had no clue her lover was the killer.
Furthermore, Marshall says Hearn made comments on the stand that flat out didn’t make sense, such as Limon was scared what people would think if she got a divorce-so murder was the better option
Marshall says Terry should’ve played the phone call with detectives where Sabrina hysterically begs for answers on what happened to her husband, and that he should’ve called her grief counselor to testify.
The motion also talks a lot about Jonathan Hearn’s character that the jury didn’t see, such as him drawing an angry skull next to a bleeding heart pierced by a sword, with the inscription “love kills slowly”. The motion also argues that Hearn’s decision to flip on Sabrina, in addition to getting a great plea deal, was his belief that Sabrina was involved with another man.
Richard Terry has been a long-time criminal defense attorney, and has won dozens of other murder cases. In one of his latest trials where he represented *another* woman facing a first-degree murder charge, the jury convicted her on the lesser charge of manslaughter.
On February 21, Judge John Brownlee will either sentence Sabrina Limon to 25 years to life, or he’ll grant her a new trial.