LAPD detective found guilty of killing romantic rival in 1986
Stephanie Lazarus is emotionless as she is convicted of beating and shooting the wife of a man who had spurned her. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck issues extraordinary apology to the victim's family.
Photo: Former Los Angeles Police Det. Stephanie Lazarus, with her attorney Mark Overland, left, was convicted of first-degree murder in the brutal beating and shooting of Sherri Rasmussen, 29, on Feb. 24, 1986. Three months before the attack, Rasmussen had married John Ruetten, who had dated Lazarus casually for a few years.
LOS ANGELES, CA - 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.
The verdict broke a tense silence in a cramped downtown Los Angeles courtroom full of the victim's family, relatives of Lazarus and journalists.
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