In 1983, John Riccardi turned on his then girlfriend and Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro’s mother, Connie Hopkins Navarro. Hopkins was found dead in her home alongside her friend Susan Marshall Jory. Riccardi spent years on the run but was caught after Navarro made a plea on a 1991 episode of America’s Most Wanted.
Riccardi has been on death row since he was convicted in 1994. However, today, according to Laist, a judge has decided to overturn the death penalty after a reassessment of the case showed the now 76-year-old fellon was not given a fair trial as the original judge “erroneously excused a prospective juror during jury selection”.
Riccardi had previously been one of the oldest prisoners held on California’s death row.
Around the time of the murder, Jane’s Addiction were in the autumn of their years. Navarro was in-between jobs as he was invited to play guitar for Guns N’ Roses, though by the time of the trial, Navarro was playing guitar for The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The rock icon was interviewed on America’s Most Wanted in 2004, stating that he was supposed to be at his mother’s residence on the night of the murder but at the last minute ended up staying at his father’s house instead, telling AMW: “So I really do believe that that’s some sort of divine intervention that I can’t explain.”