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PASSINGS

James Brazelton, 66; led prosecution team against Scott Peterson

September 12, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

James Brazelton, 66, the former district attorney of Stanislaus County who led the prosecution team against convicted double-murderer Scott Peterson, died Monday at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, according to the Associated Press. The cause of death was not reported.

Brazelton returned to the private sector in July 2005 after trying 35 murder cases and sending five men to death row. One of them was Peterson, who was found guilty in 2004 of murdering his wife, Laci, and her fetus.

"He was a tough prosecutor. He was one of the best in the courtroom," said Assistant Dist. Atty. Carol Shipley, who was Brazelton's second in command.

Brazelton graduated from Bakersfield High School and served in a military police unit in the Army. He worked as a police officer in Bakersfield and the city of Orange. According to the Modesto Bee, he earned his law degree at Western State University College of Law in Fullerton and worked as private attorney in Orange County before joining the Stanislaus County district attorney's office in 1985. He was appointed district attorney in March 1996 to finish the term of the incumbent who had retired.

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