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LAPD Detective's Murder Trial Set To Begin

January 30, 2012  | 

Jury selection is scheduled for this week in the trial of a Los Angeles Police detective accused of killing a romantic rival, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The trial of former LAPD Det. Stephanie Lazarus is expected to last about a month.

Lazarus is accused of fatally shooting nursing student Sherri Rasmussen on Feb. 24, 1986. At the time, Rasmussen was found bloodied on the floor of the house she shared with new husband, John Ruetten. It was Ruetten who returned home from work to find his wife dead. Three shots were fired at close range in her chest. A human bite mark on her arm and other evidence indicated a bloody struggle in which Rasmussen had been tied up.

The case remained unsolved until advancements in DNA testing of saliva taken from the bite mark led investigators to Lazarus, who had dated Ruetten after the two graduated from UCLA.

In mid-2009, LAPD detectives collected a DNA sample from Lazarus, who by that time was a respected, veteran detective assigned to a specialized unit investigating art crimes. Detectives used a ruse to draw Lazarus into an interrogation room on June 5, where they made the arrest.

Footage of the interrogation was later released and posted by NBC Los Angeles.

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Anthony Manzella @ 1/30/2012 4:56 PM

A sad day for LAPD. As a career LA prosecutor, now retired, I liked the old Department better than the new one.

Steve Moody @ 1/31/2012 10:06 AM

The last time the L.A.P.D. was an effective police dept. is when they had the RAMPART C.R.A.S.H. unit.

Capt David LACO Retired @ 2/1/2012 5:33 PM

Ought to make good reading..almost like about Deputy Bob Shaffer who shot a burglar.

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