Ex-LAPD Detective Sentenced to 27 Years in Cold-Case Murder


Former LAPD detective Stephanie Lazarus, 52, was sentenced Friday to 27 years to life in prison for murdering the wife of her former lover 26 years ago, reports the Huffington Post. She was found guilty in March of killing Sherri Rasmussen, a nurse who was bludgeoned and shot to death in the condo she shared with her husband of three months, John Ruetten. Prosecutors said Lazarus was consumed with jealousy when Ruetten decided to marry Rasmussen.

The case hinged on DNA from a bite mark prosecutors say was left by Lazarus on Rasmussen’s arm. Lazarus was not a suspect in 1986 because detectives then believed two robbers who had attacked another woman in the area were to blame for Rasmussen’s death. The case file, however, did mention Lazarus because of her relationship with Ruetten. No suspects were found and the case went cold until May 2009, when undercover officers followed Lazarus and obtained a sample of her saliva to compare with DNA left at the original crime scene.

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