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Simi Valley Woman Sentenced To 27 Years To Life In Prison For Killing Former Boyfriend’s Wife

Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 12:02pm

She was once an LAPD detective. But now, a Simi Valley woman has been sentenced to 27 years to life in prison, for the murder of her ex-boyfriend’s wife.

Stephanie Lazarus was convicted of first degree murder in the 1986 killing of Sherri Rasmussen, who was beaten, and shot to death in a San Fernando Valley condo. Prosecutors say Lazarus had dated a college classmate, John Ruetten. After they broke up, and he married Rasmussen, they say Lazarus killed Ruetten’s new wife out of jealousy.

At the time, detectives thought the killing might have been tied to a series of break-ins in the area, but it went unsolved.
However, in 2009, they were able to use DNA technology to link Lazarus to the killing because of saliva from a bite mark on the victim’s arm. Defense attorneys contended that the DNA evidence had become corrupted over time, and say Lazarus had a spotless 26 year record with the LAPD.

While she received a 27 years to life sentence for her conviction, Lazarus will receive a nearly three year reduction because of time already served.

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