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Man Convicted of Throat-Slash Murders of Two Women, Boy, 3

June 22, 1989|H.G. REZA | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — After eight days of deliberations, a jury convicted a suburban carpet cleaner Wednesday of the throat-slash murders of three people and the attempted murder of another.

The jury of six men and six women who convicted David Lucas, 33, of Spring Valley found that the murders were committed with special circumstance, which could mean the death sentence. The jurors will return to deliberate on the sentence next month.

Lucas, originally accused of a string of six murders in the San Diego area, sat impassively as the verdicts were announced.

Lucas was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1979 deaths of Suzanne Jacobs, 31; her son, Colin, 3, and the 1984 death of Anne Catherine Swanke, 22. Jacobs and her son were found with their throats slashed inside their San Diego home. Swanke, a San Diego State student, was found with her throat slashed on a remote hillside in Spring Valley.

The jury also convicted Lucas of the attempted murder of Jody Santiago Robertson. Robertson, a Seattle woman, survived a June 9, 1984, attack in which she was strangled and her throat slashed. Lucas was also convicted of kidnaping Robertson, who testified for the prosecution, and Swanke.

Lucas was acquitted in the death of Gayle Roberta Garcia, a Point Loma realtor who was found with her throat slashed in a vacant Spring Valley house Dec. 8, 1981.

The jurors were deadlocked on charges that Lucas killed Rhonda Strang, 24, and Amber Fisher, 3, both of Lakeside. Strang was baby-sitting the child when their throats were slashed Oct. 23, 1984. The jury foreman told Superior Court Judge Laura Hammes that after taking four or five votes, jurors were split, 11 for conviction and one for acquittal.

Lucas had served a four-year sentence at the California Youth Authority for the 1973 rape of a young woman. The woman was abducted and taken to a remote recreation area where, authorities said, Lucas raped her and used a knife to cut her hands and throat. She survived the attack.

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