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California Briefing / ORANGE COUNTY

Court orders one trial in 5 slayings

June 13, 2008|David Haldane

A man accused of killing a 12-year-old Huntington Beach girl as well as four Los Angeles County women in the 1970s will stand trial on all five cases simultaneously in Orange County, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

"We are gratified," the Orange County district attorney's office said in a statement regarding the decision to set aside an earlier appeals court ruling requiring separate trials for Rodney Alcala, 64.

"Had the cases been split up," the statement said, "families of some of the victims would not have seen justice . . . for at least another decade."

Alcala already has been convicted twice in the 1979 slaying of Robin Samsoe, kidnapped as she bicycled to ballet class, but both convictions were later overturned.

In the meantime, detectives linked him through blood and DNA evidence to the sexual assault murders of Jill Barcomb, 18, and Georgia Wixted, 27, in 1977; Charlotte Lamb, 32, in 1978; and Jill Parenteau, 21, in 1979.

-- David Haldane

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