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Man about to get out of prison is charged with 1984 killing in Orange County

April 13, 2011 |  6:58 pm

A Santa Ana man who was due to be released from prison Wednesday has been charged with a 1984 killing in Anaheim.

Richard Stanley Sandoval, 57, was being held at the Institution for Men in Chino on a probation violation in connection with a 1985 rape conviction when he was rearrested Tuesday. Prosecutors said a DNA sample collected from Sandoval as part of the rape proceedings had been linked to the killing of 84-year-old Margaret Lenney.

According to a statement from the Orange County district attorney’s office, Lenney hired Sandoval to do some painting at the complex she owned on Winston Road but fired him for doing a poor job. Sandoval is believed to have returned several times to try to borrow money from the tenants, the statement said.

On the night of Sept. 23, 1984, Sandoval allegedly raped or attempted to rape Lenney, then killed her and fled. Anaheim police found the bloodied victim on her front porch, the statement said.

Sandoval was arrested two blocks away the day after the attack but was released for lack of evidence. District attorney's spokeswoman Farrah Emami declined to specify how Lenney died.

A homicide detective reopened Lenney’s case in February, said Sgt. Rick Martinez, spokesman for the Anaheim Police Department. Because of advances in DNA analysis, Martinez said, evidence collected in 1984 was resubmitted to the Orange County Crime Laboratory and a match was allegedly made with Sandoval.

He is expected to be arraigned Thursday on one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of rape or attempted rape. If convicted, he faces life in prison without parole.

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-- Alexandra Zavis

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