Across San Francisco Bay from the sensational Scott Peterson trial, one of the state’s longest-running capital murder cases grinds on in relative obscurity at the Alameda County Courthouse, reports the Los Angeles Times. Stuart Alexander, a fourth-generation Portuguese sausage maker, gunned down three government meat inspectors at his San Leandro plant in June 2000. No one disputes that Alexander, 43, was the killer. The shootings were captured on video surveillance cameras at Alexander’s Santos Linguisa Factory. The financially strapped sausage maker had become obsessed with the state and federal regulation of his business.
Yet four years after the crime – 50 trial motions and more than 70 witnesses later – the “Sausage King” murder trial still occupies a dingy fifth-floor courtroom, where it is not expected to conclude until November. The plodding pace has been set by the government’s methodical determination to avenge the first federal and state agriculture agents to be killed in the line of duty and by the impassioned effort by Alexander’s public defenders to keep their client off death row. The trial began in March 2003. Opening arguments commenced in April of this year.