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Man charged in 34-year-old Long Beach slaying of teenager

August 24, 2012 |  3:22 pm

Los Angeles County prosecutors charged a man from the Bay Area city of Antioch with the 34-year-old cold case murder of a young mother who was found dead in her Long Beach home with her 13-month-old child sitting beside the body.

Martell Nathaniel Chubbs, 53, was arrested on suspicion of murder Thursday by Long Beach police and was due to be arraigned in a Long Beach courtroom Friday, but the hearing was put off until Sept. 11, said L.A. County district attorney's spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons.

Prosecutors alleged special circumstances in the crime, including rape and burglary, but said they would not make an immediate decision on whether to seek the death penalty.

The case revolves around the Dec. 27, 1977, killing of 17-year-old Shelley H., whose last name was not listed in the complaint because she was a minor.

Coroner's officials originally determined that the victim died of asphyxia, but she also had superficial stab wounds. Her daughter was found beside her, unharmed.

Long Beach police detectives decided to revisit the case and ran forensic material found at the scene through a database that stores DNA information from federal, state and local crime laboratories.


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-- Andrew Blankstein