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50-year-old L.A. man to appear in juvenile court for 1975 rape, murder

September 11, 2009 | 10:42 am

A 50-year-old Los Angeles man is scheduled to appear in juvenile court today after being charged with the rape and murder of an elderly Venice woman 34 years ago after DNA left at the crime scene connected him to the killing.

The man was 16 at the time prosecutors allege he raped and strangled the 80-year-old woman to death on Dec. 17, 1975, in her Venice home.

He is charged with murder with the special allegation that the killing of Alice Lewis was committed during a rape and burglary. His name was withheld by prosecutors today until a judge in juvenile court in Inglewood determines he’s unfit to be tried as a juvenile.

Prosecutors are asking a juvenile judge to make that finding so he can be charged as an adult.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Eva Stodel said a DNA match came back three weeks ago identifying the man as a suspect in Lewis' slaying. Jane Robison, a district attorney’s spokeswoman, said police picked up the man recently on an unrelated drug crime and that led to a swab of his DNA being taken by authorities.

That DNA was run on the state database and was “matched” to a sample from the 1975 crime placed on the system about seven years ago, Robison said. No suspects were identified at the time, but evidence in the case was stored by the LAPD.

LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division Cold Case Unit detectives Tim Marcia and Greg Kading investigated the case and arrested the suspect Tuesday. He is being held without bail.

-- Richard Winton and Corina Knoll


The Homicide Report: Chronicling L.A. County homicide victims.