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Son Showed Grief Before Arrest in Mother's Death, Jury Told

October 30, 1985|JAN KLUNDER | Times Staff Writer

A Van Nuys youth appeared to be so upset upon finding his mother slain in her home in 1983 that he cried out hysterically, "How could somebody do this?" and had to be handcuffed by police to prevent him from going near her battered body, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

But inconsistencies in the 17-year-old boy's statements to police later led to his arrest on suspicion of stabbing and bludgeoning the 66-year-old woman to death, Deputy Dist. Atty. Phillip H. Rabichow told a Van Nuys Superior Court jury Monday.

Bruce Lisker, now 20, is being tried on a murder charge for allegedly striking his mother, Dorka, at least 22 times in her Sherman Oaks home. In his opening statement to the jury, Rabichow said the murder weapons included at least two kitchen knives, one of the teen-ager's trophies and an exercise bar.

Lisker's attorney, Dennis Mulcahy, said he would make his opening statement after the prosecution finishes its case.

Testimony by Inmate

The prosecution's key witness is expected to be a man who was in a cell next to Lisker's in County Jail.

The man, Robert Donald Hughes, a convicted felon, testified at a preliminary hearing in October, 1983, that Lisker confessed to killing his mother after she refused to give him money to support his drug habit.

According to Hughes, Lisker said he waited until his mother left the room, then rifled her purse, and that his mother caught him searching for money, tried to strike him and ripped his shirt. Lisker said he "freaked out" and stabbed her, and finally struck her with the other objects, Hughes testified at the preliminary hearing.

Rabichow said Lisker gave a different account to investigators and that he made several statements that conflicted with evidence at the scene.

Says Doors Locked

Rabichow said Lisker told police that he could not get inside the house because the doors were locked, that his mother did not answer the doorbell and that, after walking to the side of the house and seeing the body through a window, he climbed through a kitchen window and summoned paramedics.

Lisker pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in December. His attorney then asked that he be sentenced to the California Youth Authority, where, by law, he could not be kept past his 25th birthday. But a judge rejected that sentence in favor of prison, and Lisker then changed his plea and opted to go to trial.

The trial is expected to last three to four weeks.

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