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Stephanie Lazarus

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 23, 2010 | By Joel Rubin and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Stephanie Lazarus, the Los Angeles police detective charged in the 1986 murder of an ex-boyfriend's wife, admitted to investigators the morning of her arrest that she had confronted the victim on multiple occasions, but denied having a role in the killing, according to the transcript of her interrogation. The interview transcript, which became public during a hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, offers a detailed account of how LAPD homicide detectives duped their unsuspecting colleague into talking about the case, and of Lazarus' disbelief and panic as she realized she was the target of the investigation.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 2013 | By Joel Rubin and Richard Winton
A veteran cold case detective ignored a key piece of evidence in an unsolved slaying, delaying for several years the eventual discovery that Stephanie Lazarus, a Los Angeles police officer, was guilty of the killing, according to allegations in a lawsuit filed Wednesday. The suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Jennifer Francis, an analyst in the LAPD's DNA laboratory. In it, Francis accused Cliff Shepard, a highly regarded investigator who recently retired, of disregarding the results of DNA tests she performed in the case.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 23, 2010 | By Joel Rubin and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
On the evening of Feb. 24, 1986, LAPD homicide detectives found Sherri Rae Rasmussen's badly beaten body on the living room floor of her Van Nuys town house with wounds from three .38-caliber bullets to her chest. Weeks later, Stephanie Lazarus, a young Los Angeles police officer, called the Santa Monica Police Department to report that someone had broken into her car on 2nd Street, blocks from the pier. A gym bag had been stolen, she said. In it were clothes, some cassettes, a few dollars and her personal .38-caliber snub-nosed revolver, according to several LAPD and Santa Monica police sources familiar with the investigation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 2013 | By Joel Rubin and Richard Winton
A veteran cold case detective ignored a key piece of evidence in an unsolved murder, delaying for several years the eventual discovery that Stephanie Lazarus, a Los Angeles police officer, was guilty of the killing, according to allegations in a lawsuit filed Wednesday. The suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Jennifer Francis, an analyst in the LAPD's DNA laboratory. In it, Francis accused Cliff Shepard, a highly regarded investigator who recently retired, of disregarding the results of DNA tests she performed in the case.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 2012 | By Joel Rubin and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Stephanie Lazarus, the Los Angeles police officer on trial for allegedly murdering the wife of an ex-boyfriend, tearfully confronted the man after learning he had become engaged, according to testimony Wednesday. "She was basically trying to tell me … she was in love with me," said John Ruetten, whose testimony marked the first time he has publicly discussed his wife's killing. "It was clear that I was moving on and getting married. " Lazarus, who served in the Los Angeles Police Department for more than 25 years before retiring last year as a detective, was arrested in 2009 when LAPD cold-case detectives linked her to the 1986 beating and shooting death of Sherri Rasmussen, 29. Prosecutors allege that Lazarus, a patrol officer at the time of the killing, was infatuated with Ruetten, an engineer who she had dated before he became engaged to Rasmussen.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 2013 | By Joel Rubin and Richard Winton
A veteran cold case detective ignored a key piece of evidence in an unsolved slaying, delaying for several years the eventual discovery that Stephanie Lazarus, a Los Angeles police officer, was guilty of the killing, according to allegations in a lawsuit filed Wednesday. The suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Jennifer Francis, an analyst in the LAPD's DNA laboratory. In it, Francis accused Cliff Shepard, a highly regarded investigator who recently retired, of disregarding the results of DNA tests she performed in the case.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 2012 | By Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
It was a murder that prosecutors say was committed in a fit of rage and jealousy and then covered up for more than two decades. But on Friday, as she was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison for killing her ex-boyfriend's wife, former Los Angeles Police Det. Stephanie Lazarus masked any emotion, other than a glance and wave in the direction of her mother as she was led away in handcuffs. The sentencing brought to a close a case that garnered national attention for its sensational story line of a lovelorn cop killing a woman she viewed as a romantic rival and then harboring the dark secret for 23 years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2012 | By Joel Rubin and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
A jury found former Los Angeles Police Det. Stephanie Lazarus guilty of murdering the wife of a man who had spurned her, bringing an end to a remarkable case in which a new generation of the LAPD redeemed the failures of a past one. On Thursday, after little more than a day of deliberation, the panel of eight women and four men concluded that Lazarus brutally beat and then shot Sherri Rasmussen three times in the chest on Feb. 24, 1986. Three months before the attack, Rasmussen, a 29-year-old hospital nursing director, had married John Ruetten, who dated Lazarus casually for a few years leading up to the wedding.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 6, 2009 | Andrew Blankstein and Joel Rubin
Shortly after she sat down at her desk on the third floor of LAPD headquarters Friday morning, Det. Stephanie Lazarus was told a suspect in the basement jail had information on one of her cases. The 25-year police veteran went quickly downstairs. As Lazarus removed her firearm to pass through security, she unknowingly walked into a trap. There was no suspect -- only questions about a terrible secret police believe she has been harboring for more than two decades.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2012 | By Joel Rubin and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Prosecutors in the murder trial of former LAPD Det. Stephanie Lazarus made their closing argument Monday, and Lazarus' attorney delivered much of his, leaving jurors to mull over conflicting interpretations of testimony and evidence on which the detective's fate hinges. Deputy Dist. Atty. Paul Nunez led the jury steadily through what he called "the overwhelming evidence of guilt" against Lazarus, who is on trial in the 1986 beating and shooting death of Sherri Rasmussen, the wife of a man Lazarus had dated.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 23, 2013 | By Andrew Blankstein
A former Los Angeles police homicide detective was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in a Hawaiian prison for fatally beating his wife with a tire jack, authorities said. Dan DeJarnette, 59, pleaded guilty in March to manslaughter in the case. The plea came shortly before the retired LAPD detective was to face trial in the death of his wife, Yu DeJarnette, 56, who was found in November 2006 on a lava embankment a short distance from the couple's home in Ka'u, on the southern end of the Big Island.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2013 | By Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
A retired LAPD homicide detective pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the fatal beating of his wife in Hawaii seven years ago, authorities said Monday. Dan DeJarnette, 59, who was arrested at his Big Island home in May, pleaded guilty March 15 to manslaughter while under extreme emotional distress. He faces up to 20 years in prison in connection with the slaying of his wife, 56-year-old Yu DeJarnette, whose body was found in November 2006 on a lava embankment about 20 feet from the couple's home in Ka'u on the southern end of the island.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2013 | By Andrew Blankstein
A retired LAPD homicide detective pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the fatal beating of his wife in Hawaii seven years ago, authorities said Monday. Dan DeJarnette, 59, who was arrested at his Big Island home last May, pleaded guilty March 15 to manslaughter while under extreme emotional distress. He faces up to 20 years in prison in connection with the slaying of his wife, 56-year-old Yu DeJarnette, whose body was found in November 2006 on a lava embankment about 20 feet from the couple's home in Ka'u on the southern end of the island.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 17, 2012 | By Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
A retired LAPD homicide detective was arrested this week in the fatal beating of his wife in Hawaii six years ago. He had been a suspect since her death. Dan DeJarnette, 59, was taken into custody without incident Monday night at his home on the Big Island in connection with the slaying of his wife, Yu Dejarnette. He appeared in a Hawaii courtroom Tuesday to face formal charges. He said at the time of her November 2006 death that he had awakened and found her lying on a lava embankment about 20 feet from the couple's home in Ka'u on the southern end of the island.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 2012 | By Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
It was a murder that prosecutors say was committed in a fit of rage and jealousy and then covered up for more than two decades. But on Friday, as she was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison for killing her ex-boyfriend's wife, former Los Angeles Police Det. Stephanie Lazarus masked any emotion, other than a glance and wave in the direction of her mother as she was led away in handcuffs. The sentencing brought to a close a case that garnered national attention for its sensational story line of a lovelorn cop killing a woman she viewed as a romantic rival and then harboring the dark secret for 23 years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2012 | By Joel Rubin and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
A jury found former Los Angeles Police Det. Stephanie Lazarus guilty of murdering the wife of a man who had spurned her, bringing an end to a remarkable case in which a new generation of the LAPD redeemed the failures of a past one. On Thursday, after little more than a day of deliberation, the panel of eight women and four men concluded that Lazarus brutally beat and then shot Sherri Rasmussen three times in the chest on Feb. 24, 1986. Three months before the attack, Rasmussen, a 29-year-old hospital nursing director, had married John Ruetten, who dated Lazarus casually for a few years leading up to the wedding.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2012 | By Joel Rubin and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Prosecutors in the murder trial of former LAPD Det. Stephanie Lazarus made their closing argument Monday, and Lazarus' attorney delivered much of his, leaving jurors to mull over conflicting interpretations of testimony and evidence on which the detective's fate hinges. Deputy Dist. Atty. Paul Nunez led the jury steadily through what he called "the overwhelming evidence of guilt" against Lazarus, who is on trial in the 1986 beating and shooting death of Sherri Rasmussen, the wife of a man Lazarus had dated.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2012 | By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
Prosecutors in the murder trial of retired Los Angeles Police Department Det. Stephanie Lazarus rested their case Friday after three weeks of testimony, including that of a former FBI criminal profiler who said the killer staged part of the crime scene in an effort to throw off investigators. Lazarus, a 25-year veteran of the LAPD who retired after her 2009 arrest, is accused of the Feb. 24, 1986, beating and shooting death of Sherri Rasmussen, a 29-year-old nurse who married a man Lazarus had dated.
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