A former LAPD detective from Simi Valley has been convicted of first degree murder in the killing of her former lover’s wife.
Stephanie Lazarus showed no emotion today as the verdict was delivered in her highly publicized trial for the 1986 killing of Sherri Rasmussen. Prosecutors say Lazarus killed Rasmussen three months after the victim married John Ruetten.
Detectives at first thought the Rasmussen was the victim of two robbers who had attacked another victim in the same area. But two decades later, a cold case team looking at DNA evidence concluded the killer was a woman, and identified Lazarus as a suspect. Prosecutors say a DNA match was a key to tying the Simi Valley woman to the murder. Her attorney contended the DNA evidence had deteriorated while it was stored for two decades, and that they will appeal the conviction.
Lazarus could face 27 years, to life behind bars when she’s sentenced in May.