Trial for transient accused of murder starts today |

Trial for transient accused of murder starts today

Jury selection for the murder trial of Clifford McDonough starts at 9 a.m. today at the Nevada County Superior Court, District Attorney Cliff Newell said Monday.

The Grass Valley-area transient allegedly beat another Grass Valley man whom he suspected of having an affair with his wife; McDonough is charged with second-degree murder.

Donald Sullivan, 45, died of blunt force trauma at Sutter Roseville Medical Center the day after the October 2007 assault took place. Forensic pathologist Dr. Don Henrikson of Placer County, who did Sullivan’s autopsy, told the court in February that Sullivan suffered a broken sternum, 10 broken ribs, a broken eye socket, a broken neck bone, a broken lower jaw, a broken nose and three broken vertebrae.

Judge Robert Tamietti ruled that McDonough – 38 at the time of his arrest – will stand trial for second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, felony domestic violence with great bodily injury and misdemeanor battery.

Opening statements in the trial may take place around midday Wednesday, said Deputy District Attorney Dave Walters, the prosecutor in the case.

Daniel Geffner, deputy public defender with the Nevada County Public Defender’s office, declined to comment on the case.

Some of the potential witnesses expected in court this week include the defendant’s estranged wife, Cindy McDonough; and Peter Walsh and James Love, Sullivan’s friends.

Clifford McDonough allegedly had beaten Cindy McDonough about the head with his fists and kicked her in the ribs after beating up Sullivan, Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal told The Union at the time of Clifford McDonough’s arrest.

Clifford McDonough allegedly had also punched Walsh three times in the face, breaking his nose and flattening his lip, as Walsh went to Sullivan’s trailer soon after Sullivan had been assaulted.

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

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