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District Attorney

Posted on: April 7, 2023

Daniella Moore Sentenced to Serve 15 Years to Life in Prison

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Office of the District Attorney - Stacey J. Eads, District Attorney

NEWS RELEASE

4/7/2023

Today, Judge Kelly Neel sentenced Eureka woman, Daniella Patricia Moore (43 years), to serve 15 years to life in state prison for the murder of 19-year-old Hannah Hayhurst, and assault with a deadly weapon upon Misty Miller.  Family and friends of Ms. Hayhurst addressed Moore and Judge Neel, sharing the anguish, loss and heartbreak caused by these terrible crimes.

On July 4, 2019, Moore attacked Misty Miller causing significant wounds to her head.  Some hours later, Moore stabbed and disemboweled Hannah Hayhurst, leaving her body near the foot of Hilfiker Lane in Eureka.   Moore then drove to Garberville, still dressed in clothing drenched in Ms. Hayhurst’s blood. Sheriff’s deputies located her there in the early morning hours of July 5.  Moore appeared to be psychotic, a condition that evidence indicated was brought on by use of illegal narcotics. Deputies initially intended to detain Moore on a mental health hold pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 5150, but soon realized she was a suspect in the Eureka Police Department’s (E.P.D.) investigation into the suspected homicide of Ms. Hayhurst.  They transferred her into the custody of E.P.D. officers.  Detective C. Watson led the investigation into the murder, ultimately arresting Moore for the murder of Ms. Hayhurst.  The additional investigative efforts of Detective R. Harpham led to evidence revealing Moore as the previously unidentified assailant of Misty Miller.  

The District Attorney filed charges against Moore for her crimes against both victims, including allegations that Moore had tortured Ms. Hayhurst.  The torture allegations made Moore eligible for a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.  Moore initially pled not guilty by reason of insanity to the charges, and the court appointed three forensic psychologists to evaluate Moore. Two of the three filed reports indicating their expert opinion that Moore was, in fact, not guilty by reason of insanity when she committed her offenses. One of the psychologists disagreed, and he opined that she was sane.  If found true by a jury, Moore’s insanity plea would have made her eligible to serve her sentence at a mental health facility and could have resulted in her release if she was found to have recovered from her mental illness.   

Prior to trial, on February 24, 2023, Moore changed her plea to guilty of violations of Penal Code sections 187(a), murder in the second degree, and 245(a)(1), assault with a deadly weapon. She also withdrew her previously entered pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity and waived her right to appeal.  As part of the plea, District Attorney Stacey Eads agreed to dismissal of the torture allegations, which had made Moore eligible for a sentence of life-without-parole.

District Attorney Eads stated: “I extend my deepest sympathies to Hannah’s family and friends for the unbearable grief and tragedy suffered with the loss of her life.  Although evidence demonstrated Ms. Moore experienced severe psychosis when she committed her violent crimes, her years of voluntary methamphetamine use significantly attributed to her mental state.   Ms. Moore will now serve her sentence in prison, not a state hospital, and be held accountable for her choices that led to her senseless acts of violence and tragic loss of a young life.  She is serving a life sentence, and my office will vehemently oppose her release on parole under any circumstances.”