Local
January 23, 2018
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Penngrove homicide defendant sentenced to life in prison

By: Katherine Minkiewicz
December 22, 2017

A 29-year-old Marin County man who was charged with first degree murder and robbery after the violent killing of an 84-year-old Penngrove woman in 2015, was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month on Dec. 7 after entering a no contest plea.

Victor Silva was convicted of murdering Penngrove lifelong resident, Olga Dinelli, 84, who was shot and killed by Silva’s accomplice Stephanie Hill during the robbery. A Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department lead investigation found in February of 2015 that Silva and Hill had fled from Marin County law enforcement after they were found with stolen firearms following a routine traffic stop.

According to a press release from Sonoma County Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Staebell, the two then fled to Penngrove to Dinelli’s farm, where they then approached her at gunpoint. They then tied the victim to a chair and ransacked her home, killing her afterwards. Law enforcement agencies were then able to locate the defendants via cell phone GPS.

“When law enforcement attempted to apprehend them, they led dozens of officers and deputies on a 100-mile pursuit, all while shooting at passing motorists. Law enforcement disabled their vehicle with spike strips and the defendants fled into the desert,” the press release said of apprehending the suspects.

Silva was taken into custody, where he was sentenced to 25 years in an Arizona prison before being brought back to California to face the charges against him. Hill was shot and killed following the erratic pursuit after aiming a handgun at law enforcement. 

According to a Superior Court County of Sonoma criminal case record search, Silva does not have a notorious, violent crime record, but he has had several misdemeanors, such as driving without a license, speeding, failing to provide evidence of financial responsibility as well as issues with child support and child visitation rights.

In a statement Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said of the case, “This defendant participated in a brutal and senseless crime that had a deep impact in this community. His victim was a lifelong resident of rural Sonoma County. She was a caring and giving person and was taken away from her family and friends suddenly and violently. There is no sentence that will replace this loss. However, we hope that this significant sentence will bring some closure to the Dinelli family.”