Delaware judge vacates death sentence of killer convicted in Rockford Park murders

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DOVER, Delaware — A Delaware Superior Court judge has vacated the death sentence of a killer facing execution for two 1996 murders in Wilmington.

In a ruling issued Wednesday, Judge Andrea Rocanelli said lawyers for Luis G. Cabrera Jr. were not properly prepared and provided ineffective assistance in the penalty phase of his trial.

Cabrera was sentenced to death in 2002 for the killings of Brandon Saunders and Vaughn Rowe, whose bodies were found in Rockford Park.

Rocanelli said Cabrera was entitled to have extensive mitigating evidence, including information about his childhood, presented to the jury for its consideration in whether to recommend the death sentence.

At the time he and a co-defendant were indicted for the Rockford Park murders, Cabrera was already serving a life sentence for a 1995 murder.

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