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Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF

VAN NUYS : Suspect Jailed 13 Months in Murder Is Cleared

March 31, 1993

A judge dismissed murder charges this week against a Van Nuys man who spent 13 months in jail awaiting trial in the 1991 slaying of a bartender.

David Zamudio, a 29-year-old laborer, was cleared after his lawyer presented prosecutors with new evidence supporting an alibi. "No one likes to see someone who is innocent spend any time in jail," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Dale E. Cutler, who requested the dismissal at a pretrial hearing in San Fernando Superior Court.

"The only thing I can offer is that this proves that the system works. When we discovered the new evidence we acted quickly to release him."

Zamudio was accused of the murder of Lorenzo Flores, 33, who was shot at Lencho's Bar in Mission Hills on Dec. 6, 1991. Five witnesses had identified him as one of two men who came looking for Flores at the bar. If convicted, he could have been sentenced to 27 years to life in prison.

Defense lawyer Alan H. Yahr, who presented the new evidence to prosecutors in December, said that Zamudio's alibi did not pinpoint where he was at the time of the shooting, but it did show where he was shortly beforehand--paying his phone bill in Van Nuys.

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