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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 1993 | RENE LYNCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A young man charged with raping and assaulting a 79-year-old Stanton woman has also been charged with her murder--and possibly faces the death penalty--because the woman later lost her will to live as a result of the attack and died, prosecutors said Saturday. Mary Lee Ward was a "feisty, grandmotherly type" who refused to let age catch up with her when she was attacked about 2:30 a.m. on May 22, 1992, said Deputy Dist. Atty. David La Bahn.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 18, 1994 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Stanton dishwasher whose rape of a 79-year-old woman resulted in a novel though unsuccessful murder prosecution was sentenced Tuesday to 28 years in state prison on sexual assault charges. Superior Court Judge Francisco P. Briseno described the rape of Mary Ward, an apartment complex manager, as "the most violent attack that I've had occasion as a trial judge to see."
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NEWS
March 16, 1994 | E.J. GONG JR., TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Stanton dishwasher accused of "killing the spirit" of an ailing 79-year-old woman was acquitted of murder Tuesday, but found guilty of rape and other sexual assault charges. After deliberating three days, a Superior Court jury unanimously rejected a novel prosecution theory that Jose Alonso Garcia, 20, was responsible for the death of Mary Ward, who died a month after Garcia raped her in 1992. The prosecution contended that the rape sapped Ward's will to live and hastened her death.
NEWS
March 16, 1994 | E.J. GONG JR., TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Stanton dishwasher accused of "killing the spirit" of an ailing 79-year-old woman was acquitted of murder Tuesday, but found guilty of rape and other sexual assault charges. After deliberating three days, a Superior Court jury unanimously rejected a novel prosecution theory that Jose Alonso Garcia, 20, was responsible for the death of Mary Ward, who died a month after Garcia raped her in 1992. The prosecution contended that the rape sapped Ward's will to live and hastened her death.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 18, 1994 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Stanton dishwasher whose rape of a 79-year-old woman resulted in a novel though unsuccessful murder prosecution was sentenced Tuesday to 28 years in state prison on sexual assault charges. Superior Court Judge Francisco P. Briseno described the rape of Mary Ward, an apartment complex manager, as "the most violent attack that I've had occasion as a trial judge to see."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 1994
The circumstances regarding (Jose Alonso) Garcia's life ("Rape Stole Victim's Will to Live, Prosecutors Say," Jan. 23) don't matter to me. What he did was wrong. He quite simply broke the law. I find it unfortunate that the victim, Mary Ward, died only a month after the assault. However, this event isn't directly related to the case. The defendant should be tried for his transgression and punished accordingly. My concern is will the punishment fit the crime? The answer is ultimately "no."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 1993
A 19-year-old man pleaded not guilty Thursday in Orange County Superior Court to rape and murder charges stemming from the death of a 79-year-old Stanton woman who told authorities that she lost the will to live after being sexually assaulted nearly a year ago. Jose Alonso Garcia was raping Mary Lee Ward when he was captured by Orange County sheriff's deputies about 2:30 a.m. on May 22, 1992, officials have charged. Deputy Dist. Atty. David R.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 1994 | E. J. GONG JR., TIMES STAFF WRITER
Orange County prosecutors are "testing a neat new murder theory" with "false facts" in the case of an admitted rapist charged with killing a 79-year-old woman who died a month after the attack, a defense attorney told a jury Thursday. Deputy Public Defender Leonard Gumlia said the prosecution failed to prove any connection between the rape of 79-year-old Mary Ward and her death a month later from heart and kidney failure.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 1994 | E.J. GONG JR., TIMES STAFF WRITER
The testimony of six doctors suggests that the rape of a 79-year-old Stanton woman sapped her will to live and eventually contributed to her death a month after the attack, a prosecutor told a jury Wednesday. Deputy Dist. Atty. David R. LaBahn urged jurors to find the admitted rapist guilty of murder for killing Mary Ward's spirit. "These terribly atrocious acts led to her death. There is a direct causal link between this man's actions and her death," LaBahn said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 1994 | RENE LYNCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Before she was raped in her own home, 79-year-old Mary Ward was a fun-loving, "feisty" woman and devout Jehovah's Witness who spoke with a twang and entertained friends with tales about growing up in the South. "She was not the same person after it happened," said Ward's friend, Marcheta Murphy. Before the attack "she was a card, she was always laughing. After, she cried a lot. She would just sit there and stare at nothing."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 1993 | RENE LYNCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A young man charged with raping and assaulting a 79-year-old Stanton woman has also been charged with her murder--and possibly faces the death penalty--because the woman later lost her will to live as a result of the attack and died, prosecutors said Saturday. Mary Lee Ward was a "feisty, grandmotherly type" who refused to let age catch up with her when she was attacked about 2:30 a.m. on May 22, 1992, said Deputy Dist. Atty. David La Bahn.
NEWS
July 30, 1994 | JODI WILGOREN and H.G. REZA, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
It was only fitting that when Catholic pre-marriage counselors asked Deputy Public Defender Leonard Gumlia and his fiancee the most important event in their lives, both answered with the name of a celebrated Orange County murder case. After all, it was while working on the death-penalty defense of Cynthia Lynn Coffman, accused along with her boyfriend of killing three people, that Gumlia met paralegal Kristin Widman. They were married in a Lake Arrowhead ceremony last July.
NEWS
January 23, 1994 | RENE LYNCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mary Ward was 79, active in her church and helped manage a Stanton apartment complex. Her independence was abruptly shattered by an intruder who raped her at knifepoint as her cries were recorded on a 911 line. When she died a month after the May, 1992, attack, a coroner's investigator determined the cause of death was congenital heart failure and pneumonia, and an autopsy showed a ravenous form of lung cancer had taken hold in Ward's body.
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