Timeline in the murder of Tina Tournai Sandoval and conviction of John Sandoval
March 31, 2017
Aug. 12, 1995 — Tina Sandoval files for divorce, and she and John Sandoval separate.
Oct. 19, 1995 — Tina leaves for her overnight shift at North Colorado Medical Center, bound for John Sandoval's home to discuss and settle an IRS debt that she paid for their taxes. She is never seen again.
» 9:12 p.m., Oct. 19 — Mary Ellen Tournai reports to police that Tina is missing.
» 3 a.m., Oct. 20 — Tina's car is found four blocks from John Sandoval's home.
» 5:50 a.m., Oct. 20 — John Sandoval jumps out a bedroom window at his home to run from police who have surrounded his home. He is arrested.
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» 8:49 a.m., Oct. 20 — Police have to hold Sandoval down to take photos of fresh scratches on his torso and neck.
» 9:48 a.m. — Police dog tracks scent from driver's seat of Tina's car to Sandoval's home.
» 11 a.m. — Police dog tracks scent from driver's seat to North Colorado Medical Center, where Sandoval is getting X-rays.
Oct. 20, 1995 — Sandoval is arrested on a felony trespassing charge in an incident previously only charged as a municipal offense.
March 21, 1996 — Sandoval pleads guilty to criminal trespassing in an agreement to serve six years in prison.
Dec. 6, 1999 — Sandoval is released from prison after fulfilling his sentence for trespassing. He moves to Las Vegas, where he is on parole for two years.
Feb. 12, 2002 — The state of Colorado issues a death certificate for Tina Sandoval, after a Weld District Court judge found in December 2001 that there was enough evidence to believe she was dead. Later in the year, the Tournai family installs a gravestone for their daughter at a cemetery in Windsor.
April 2009 — Greeley police detective Mike Prill is assigned to the cold case. He starts reviewing evidence, interviewing witnesses and finding new witnesses.
June 18, 2009 — Las Vegas and Greeley police arrest Sandoval outside his Las Vegas home on the charge of first-degree murder.
Dec. 16, 2009 — Weld District Court Judge Gilbert Gutierrez rules that prosecutors have enough evidence to try Sandoval on the charge of first-degree murder.
July 12, 2010 — Sandoval's monthlong trial begins. Prosecutors set out with a case of 137 witnesses to take the stand before a jury of eight women and six men (with two alternates).
Aug. 5, 2010 — The jury of seven women and five men find Sandoval guilty of first-degree murder after deliberating for seven hours. Gutierrez sentences him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Jan. 30, 2016 — John Sandoval's mother, Mary Lou Sandoval dies.
March 17, 2016 — The Colorado Court of Appeals overturns Sandoval's conviction based on three errors committed at trial. The court ruled the introduction of prior acts of stalking other women, as well as testimony from a domestic violence expert correlating stalking with murder, and the District Attorney directing jurors to remember that testimony in closing arguments violated Sandoval's right to a fair trial.
Jan. 11, 2017 — Judge sets second trial in Sandoval case for March, which is vacated days later. A hearing is set for May to determine key hearing and trial dates.
Feb. 21, 2017 — Sandoval's cousin, Jesse Martinez, a key witness in the first trial, dies at the age of 52.
March 7, 2017 — Sandoval reaches out to prosecutors with offer to lead them to Tina's remains in exchange for a plea agreement with a reduced sentence.
March 22, 2017 — Investigators exhume body of World War II vet to find the remains of Tina Tournai-Sandoval almost two feet beneath.
March 31, 2017 — Sandoval reaches plea agreement with prosecutors, forgoing a second trial in the matter.