The triggerman in the 1984 ambush slaying of a prostitute in Van Nuys has pleaded guilty to her murder and will testify against the alleged getaway driver and a Beverly Hills private investigator charged with setting up the killing, a prosecutor said Friday.
William M. Mentzer, 42, of Canoga Park entered the plea Thursday during a closed session in Los Angeles Superior Court and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole, Deputy Dist. Atty. David Conn said.
Mentzer admitted shooting June Mincher seven times in the head May 3, 1984, as she walked along Sepulveda Boulevard. By pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with authorities, Mentzer avoids the possibility that he might have received the death sentence if convicted by a jury, Conn said.
Conn said Mentzer will testify in the murder trials of Robert Lowe, who allegedly drove Mentzer to and from the slaying scene, and A. Michael Pascal, the private investigator.
Pascal had been hired by the family of Gregory Cavalli of Beverly Hills when Mincher began harassing the family after Cavalli broke off a relationship with her. Cavalli was originally charged with Mincher's murder but was acquitted by a jury after a trial in 1985.
Lowe and Mentzer were convicted earlier this year of the unrelated killing of would-be movie producer Roy Radin in 1983, a slaying dubbed the "Cotton Club Case" after the title of the movie the victim was attempting to finance when he was murdered.