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Ventura Man Pleads Not Guilty in '93 Slaying

Warren Mackey is charged with murder in the strangulation of a female co-worker in Port Hueneme.

September 19, 2003|Tracy Wilson | Times Staff Writer

A Ventura man accused of strangling an acquaintance at her apartment a decade ago pleaded not guilty Thursday to a single count of murder.

Warren Patrick Mackey, 39, was arrested last month on suspicion of killing Norma Rodriguez, 32, in the living room of her Port Hueneme duplex. Mackey had been arrested Aug. 27 after a lengthy investigation by police and district attorney's investigators.

Law enforcement officials said they had confronted Mackey with DNA evidence linking him to the June 1993 slaying after he had agreed to come to their office last month to look over photographs to help solve the case. Mackey denied killing Rodriguez, authorities said.

Mackey, who has no prior criminal record in Ventura County, worked with Rodriguez at an Oxnard Kmart store. He was described by authorities as a friend of the victim. Rodriguez was the mother of two boys and was separated from her husband at the time of her death.

Prosecutors sought a bail increase for Mackey on Thursday, arguing that he was a potential flight risk. But a Ventura County Superior Court judge ordered that he remain held in lieu of $500,000 bail at the Ventura County Jail.

A preliminary hearing on the murder charge is scheduled for Dec. 4.

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