Prosecutors move case to court that will hear murder charges

If at first you don’t succeed, charge, charge again.

San Francisco prosecutors managed to salvage a Tenderloin murder case by sending their case to another judge.

Following a preliminary trial in May, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Jerome Benson ordered a man accused of fatally stabbing another man in the Tenderloin to stand trial for manslaughter and not murder.

Patrick Sullivan, 46, allegedly stabbed 40-year-old William Quinn inside the Cadillac Market at 499 Eddy St. on Nov. 30, 2009.

Sullivan’s defense claims the death came as a result of self-defense, or at least mutual combat. The two men had gotten into an argument and Sullivan claims Quinn was trying to rob him.

Benson apparently agreed with Deputy Public Defender Kwixuan Maloof and said the man should be tried on the lesser charge. But prosecutors didn’t like that decision and re-filed the charges so that another judge could take a look at the case.

“They have that right,” Maloof said. “That’s their way of challenging the judge.”

So, then it landed in Judge Carol Yaggy’s courtroom. Yaggy found that Sullivan did indeed use malice in stabbing the man, a requirement for a murder charge, and decided to let a jury make the call.

Opening statements began Thursday, and yet another judge is involved, none other than former District 11 supervisor, Judge Gerardo Sandoval.

Follow the San Francisco Examiner’s crime blog, Law & Disorder, on Twitter @sflawdisorder.

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