After nearly a three-month trial, two men were convicted last week for their role in the murder of a Palm Springs, California, retiree and a thumbprint recorded in a Notary’s journal proved instrumental in solving the case.
Kaushal Niroula, 31, and Daniel Carlos Garcia, 30, were each found guilty of murder, conspiracy and several other felony count related to the stabbing death of 74-year-old Clifford Lambert in late 2008. Four other conspirators previously had been convicted or pleaded guilty.
The case revolved around a plot to loot Lambert’s estate. On two separate occasions, co-conspirator David Replogle impersonated the victim to get powers of attorney notarized, according to court documents. Following California law, the Notary had Replogle leave his fingerprints beside his journal entries.
“The most important, material piece of evidence linking [the suspect] to the murder was the thumbprint in the Notary journal,” said John Hall, the Senior Public Information Specialist with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. Replogle, a San Francisco attorney, was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the plot.