Per All That’s Interesting, Packer found Sweeney standing over Dominique Dunne’s limp body. When police finally arrived, they arrested Sweeney, who stated that he had tried to kill himself and his girlfriend. Dunne was taken to the hospital and was pronounced brain-dead (via Film Daily). She died days later at the age of 22. According to The Los Angeles Times, it was concluded that Sweeney had strangled her for four to six minutes. 

Less than a year after her death, he went to trial. Judge Burton S. Katz presided over the case and reportedly had a “kindly demeanor towards Sweeney.” The trial went awry from the beginning. Prosecutors wanted to charge Sweeney with first-degree murder. Katz, however, prohibited this because he thought “the killing was not premeditated.” He also refused to allow Sweeney’s former girlfriend, whom he had allegedly beaten several times, from testifying. “You don’t convict a person because they’ve done something bad in the past,” the judge reportedly stated. 

Ultimately, Dunne’s family felt this was all because of “ill will” between the judge and the prosecutor. Sweeney was later convicted of voluntary manslaughter and served three years and seven months for murdering Dunne. He returned to work as a chef at another upscale LA restaurant. It’s believed Sweeney eventually changed his name and left Southern California for good (per Reel Reviews). The family feels that Dunne did not get the justice she deserved. They later created a victims’ advocacy group in her honor. 

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