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Prosecutors won't retry Bruce Lisker in mother's slaying

September 21, 2009 |  2:37 pm


The Los Angeles County district attorney's office today said it would not retry Bruce Lisker, the San Fernando Valley man whose murder conviction in the 1983 slaying of his mother was overturned by a federal judge last month.

Prosecutors had previously said they would retry Lisker. On Monday they noted that they still stand by the original conviction, but said that retrying Lisker now would be difficult.

"We remain confident in Mr. Lisker's original conviction of the second-degree murder of his mother," the statement said. "Much of the physical evidence has been destroyed. Some witnesses are deceased given the passage of time."

Lisker said he was thrilled by the decision. "How can you put it into words?" he said. "It's unbelievable."

Lisker had been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of beating and stabbing his 66-year-old mother, Dorka, at the family's Sherman Oaks home. He had planned to fight a second trial.

In August, U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips concluded that Lisker, 44, was convicted on false evidence and that his attorney, now a court commissioner, had failed to adequately represent him.

The judge's findings mirrored those of a seven-month Times investigation, published in 2005, which raised questions about key elements of the prosecution's case and exposed the LAPD's investigation into the slaying as sloppy and incomplete.

-- Matt Lait and Scott Glover

Photo:  Bruce Lisker, left, hugs his attorney, William Genego, at the Criminal Courts building in Los Angeles after his case is dismissed. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Audio slide show on Lisker's life after being released from prison. > > >


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