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Woman, Son Face Trial in Arson Killing

June 08, 2002|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A landlord and her son were ordered Friday to stand trial for murder in the arson death of a 72-year-old double amputee in their care, prosecutors said.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Suzanne Person ruled that there was enough evidence to force Clemetha Marie Dillard, 76, and Anthony Dillard, 52, to undergo a trial in the death of Joe Williams.

On Nov. 28, firefighters found his body after extinguishing a blaze at the home in the 2400 block of South Cochran Avenue. Arson investigators aided by a dog detected flammable liquids in several areas of the razed home, police said.

Detectives said money and fraud may have been motives for the killing. The Dillards are charged with arson and murder with special circumstances, which could make them eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors said. They are expected to be arraigned June 21.

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