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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | WEST COUNTY / VENTURA

Man Charged With Murder in '92 Killing

November 11, 1998|TRACY WILSON

After nearly a year of fighting charges in juvenile court, Larry Robert Nicassio, 22, was charged with murder Tuesday in the slaying of former Ventura High School student Katrina Montgomery.

The then 20-year-old waitress and Santa Monica College student disappeared nearly six years ago after leaving an Oxnard party to visit friends in Ventura. Her blood-stained truck was later found in the Angeles National Forest in northern Los Angeles County, but her remains were never located.

For years authorities had few leads until prosecutors dusted off old files last fall and found new evidence that they say led to Nicassio and two other suspects, who have not been charged.

Since his December arrest, Nicassio, a North Hollywood resident, has denied any role in Montgomery's disappearance. Because he was 16 at the time of the crime, the case was being handled in juvenile court.

But on Monday, a judge ruled that Nicassio should be tried as an adult because of the serious nature of the crime.

At an arraignment Tuesday afternoon, Nicassio declined to enter a plea and instead requested a two-month postponement until critical DNA evidence is completed.

Outside the courtroom, Nicassio's Santa Monica attorney Darren Kavinoky said his client is innocent and is eager to have his day in court. The next hearing is set for Jan. 11.

Meanwhile, Deputy Dist. Atty. Ron Bamieh said the probe into Montgomery's slaying continues: "There are other suspects that are under investigation." Nicassio is being held without bail at the Ventura County Jail.

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