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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Van Nuys

Boyfriend Convicted in Woman's Killing

May 23, 2000|CAITLIN LIU

A Van Nuys resident who told authorities that his girlfriend was missing and that a foul odor was coming from her apartment was found guilty Monday of second-degree murder.

Robert Vann Carson, 35, was convicted of killing 21-year-old Lea Diann Thomas by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Hoff in a court trial, Deputy Dist. Atty. Ed Abele said.

A police officer testified that Carson told him about the foul odor but the officer became suspicious when he didn't smell anything outside Thomas' Van Nuys apartment.

Carson was arrested Aug. 4, a day after Thomas' body was found.

The woman, who had been trying to break up with Carson, had been choked and was stabbed nine times, Abele said. According to authorities, the couple had a history of problems, and Carson had at least one prior arrest for domestic violence against another woman.

Carson, who faces a maximum term of 15 years to life in prison plus another year for use of a knife, will be sentenced June 12.

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