Advertisement

California Briefing / Los Angeles

Judge rules against killer's release on bail

March 13, 2009|Jack Leonard

A judge ruled Thursday that a woman imprisoned for murdering her abusive boyfriend in 1982 should not be released on bail after her attorneys argued in court that she was dying from cancer.

Attorneys for Deborah Peagler asked that she be allowed to spend her final few months with her family. The lawyers said Peagler is expected to die in a matter of months, most likely before a judge can rule on her claim that the abuse by her boyfriend led to his killing.

But Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge William C. Ryan questioned whether the law gave him the authority to release prisoners on bail once their convictions were final and suggested that Peagler's attorneys ask prison officials to release her.

Peagler, who is serving 25 years to life in prison, contends that the slaying took place after she had suffered years of extreme violence by her boyfriend, including beatings, forced prostitution and rape. Since she pleaded guilty to murder in 1983, California has allowed defendants convicted of killing their batterers to win reduced sentences if they can show the abuse led to the killing.

--

-- Jack Leonard

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|