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Accused LAPD detective Stephanie Lazarus' court hearing postponed

June 9, 2009 | 10:40 am

LAPD Det. Stephanie Lazarus was led into L.A. County Superior Court at about 10 a.m. to formally face charges of premeditated murder in connection with the fatal shooting two decades ago of her ex-boyfriend's wife. Instead, her arraignment was continued to July 6.

Lazarus, 49, was dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit; her curly hair was styled straight. She was represented by attorney Mark Pachowicz.

She was wearing handcuffs chained to her waist, and sat in a chair with her legs crossed in the suspect pen. She spoke with her attorney through a narrow, barred window.

Lazarus could face the death penalty because prosecutors have alleged a special circumstance in the case: that she killed Sherri Rae Rasmussen, who was badly beaten and shot multiple times in her Van Nuys condominium on the evening of Feb. 24, 1986.

Rasmussen's parents, Nel and Loretta, sat expressionless in the gallery throughout the brief proceedings

A decision by prosecutors to seek the death penalty will be made at a later date, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the L.A. County district attorney's office.

-- Andrew Blankstein and Joel Rubin at the L.A. County Superior Court