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Veteran detective on trial for 1986 murder

December 10, 2009 12:51:04 AM PST
A Los Angeles judge ruled Thursday that a veteran LAPD detective will have to stand trial for murder in the 1986 shooting death of Sherri Rasmussen. Superior Court Judge Robert Perry says there is sufficient evidence to try 49-year-old Stephanie Lazarus with murder. Lazarus has pleaded not guilty to murdering Rasmussen 23 years ago at her condo in Van Nuys. Her body was found by her husband of three months.

Lazarus' former roommate testified that she was upset that her ex-boyfriend was marrying someone else. Prosecutors presented a journal entry made by Lazarus after she learned her ex-boyfriend was getting married. She wrote, "This is very bad. My concentration is negative-10."

Lazarus will not face the death penalty. Judge Perry says there is not enough evidence to support two special circumstance allegations of lying in wait and murder during the commission of robbery.

Lazarus will be arraigned on December 18 and if convicted, she faces life in prison.


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