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Four Decades After South Coast Rape/Murder, Killer Finally Convicted And Sentenced

It’s taken four decades, but justice has been served in a brutal rape and killing on the South Coast.

In 1980, someone broke into the Oxnard home of Leah Bullis.  The 81-year old woman was robbed, beaten and raped.  She ultimately died from her injuries.

At the time, Oxnard Police detectives were unable to find her attacker.  But, they never gave up.  In 2018, they used some DNA evidence to link a man to the fatal attack.

Lenard Chester was convicted in June of first-degree murder, with special circumstances for killing Bullis.  The 59-year-old man was sentenced this week to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.