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Cold case murder defendant told to hire his own attorney
June 14, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Gabriel O’Neill

The Brisbane man arrested for allegedly raping and killing a woman in 1989 appeared in court Friday on the potentially capital charges but put off entering a plea until he tries hiring his own attorney.

Gabriel O’Neill, 45, was denied a court-appointed attorney because he recently sold some property in Brisbane and a judge decided he did not meet the financial criteria. Judge Barbara Mallach gave O’Neill, who is in custody without bail, phone call privileges to contact lawyers and ordered him back Monday.

O’Neill is charged with murder and three special circumstances which could leave him facing the death penalty: murder during kidnapping, murder during sexual assault and murder during oral copulation. He is not charged with raping Sheila Lorraine Hatcher, 27, because the statute of limitations has expired.

Two hikers found Hatcher’s body March 12, 1989, in a ravine on San Bruno Mountain. She had been sexually assaulted and died from blunt force trauma.

No suspect was identified at the time but after the case was reopened in 2013 a DNA sample matched O’Neill. His genetic marker was entered into the DNA database after a 2005 conviction for felony unlawful sexual intercourse.

O’Neill and Hatcher knew each other but authorities have not released further details about how her body ended up in the ravine.

O’Neill was arrested Monday as he was driving in the 3000 block of Bayshore Boulevard in Brisbane.


(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: neill, murder, brisbane, during,

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