Murder trial hearing held

A man convicted of murder in the 2000 death of a homeless woman in Madera will be granted a new trial later this year, Madera County Superior Court Judge Dale J. Blea has ruled.

Frank William Hogan, 42, was convicted in 2013 in a Madera County Superior Court trial for the 2000 sexual assault and murder of Linda Marie Richards, 49, a homeless woman and U.S. Air Force veteran in Madera.

Hogan’s DNA, which was found in Richards’ body, served as the key evidence for the prosecution. Found guilty of first-degree murder and sodomy, Hogan was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, and was held at Ironwood State Prison in Blythe.

Hogan’s conviction was overturned by a Fresno appellate court in February. Hogan argued that evidence crucial to his defense had been erroneously excluded by Judge Joseph A. Soldani, primarily that Richards might have been involved in prostitution...

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