Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Can Stephanie Lazarus Survive The Resurrection Of Murder Charges Associated With The Death Of Sherri Rasmussen?


It is not just men who make huge miscalculations. For example, veteran Los Angeles Police Detective Stephanie Lazarus, may be an example of equal opportunity to be stupid enough to think she would not get caught. Lazarus is suspected of murdering an ex-boyfriend's wife. The murder allegedly took place in 1986. Now 23 years later at the age of 49, Lazarus is charged with capital murder. She was arraigned on Tuesday. Stephanie Lazarus.

Charges were filed after a sample of her Stephanie's DNA matched DNA taken from the scene of a 1986 murder. The DNA evidence allegedly places Stephanie at the February 24, 1986 murder scene of 29-year-old Sherri Rasmussen. Rasmussen was beaten and shot. Her husband, John Ruetten, found Sherri's body in the living room of their Van Nuys condominium.

Sherri had been shot multiple times. Lazarus had a relationship with Ruetten before his marriage to Sherri. Lazarus is being held without bail. Lazarus is innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law!

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

She is innocent. The DNA is likely cross contamination.

Ms Calabaza said...

DNA evidence is uncovering all sorts of old dirty little secrets . . .

Anonymous said...

Cross contamination especially on these old cases is a real concern! It is just to easy for one detectives DNA to be tracked somewhere on another detectives shoe or clothing.

Forensic man said...

I agree with the above. Unless she has told someone something or an eye witness has come forward, DNA evidence in cold cases should be limited for use in an exculpatory fashion only.

Forensic man

Thomas said...

sounds like a bunch of dirtbag cops talking.

Anonymous said...

Thomas: Read some of the other comments about DNA on this site. Some pretty knowlegable folks have opined that exculpatory DNA on cold cases is good but there is real danger in prosecuting cold cases with recent DNA testing.

Now, if you think she did it, so be it. But a good defense attorney should be able to expose the potential for cross contamination in an old case like this where the suspect worked as a detective in the same p.d.

Anonymous said...

Rise from the ashes Lazarus and gain your freedom

Seeker said...

Lazarus will rise out of the chains and walk free.

Seeker

Seeker said...

Lazarus will rise out of the chains and walk free.

Seeker

Anonymous said...

Lazarus was a detective who made a name for herself tracking down stolen art work. Not sure that she had much experience with homocide detective work.

Thomas said...

We got to let Stephanie Lazarus go, and Charlie Manson physically didn't kill anybody, and Susan Adkins is a liberal, and a women so we got to let her go too, but Stephanie Lazarus has done her time, she's apparently a great cop, we should just drop the charges, consider her rehabilitated, and let her go back to being a Police Officer because we need good cops.

Anonymous said...

She has been a good cop.

Anonymous said...

This comment box is too small to go into detail on her defense strategy. But I can assure you she will most likely be acquitted. When the defense puts on its case they will call several witnesses who will testify that Lazarus and Ruetten had a long and tumultuous relationship. They had planned to marry more than once but each time either postponed or cancelled the wedding. Ruetten was a vicious, spiteful, immature man who would throw tantrums if things didn't go his way. Finally, Lazarus dropped Ruetten. Ruetten couldn't accept the fact that Lazarus had the gall to drop him so he did everything in his power to get her back. When she finally agreed to rekindle their relationship Ruetten responded by verbally attacking her and dropping her as pay back for dropping him in the first place.
Ruetten started dating Rasmussen after he broke up with Lazarus. He had only dated Rasmussen for about three months before he married her. He told his co-workers that the only reason he married Rasmussen was to spite Lazarus and marrying Rasmussen was a big mistake. He didn't love Rasmussen and began dating other women shortly after he married Rasmussen. He met his future wife while he was still married to Rasmussen. Ruetten also tried to get back together with Lazarus but this time she refused to reestablish her relationship with him. Ruetten told Rasmussen's parents that Lazarus was stalking him and stalking Sheri Rasmussen as well.
After Rasmussen was murdered, he showed little emotion, cooperated minimally with the police, moved to San Diego and married his girlfriend within three months of Rasmussen's death. Ruetten will be the last defense witness to take the stand. The defense counsel will grill him on the statements and testimony made by his co-workers and Rasmussen's parents. One of the best witnesses for the defense is Rasmussen's mother who has stated repeatedly that Ruetten was cold aloof, emotionless and never contacted them after the murder until Lazarus was arrested. She will testify that Ruetten showed little remorse for her daughter's death.
There won't be enough evidence to file murder charges on Ruetten but there will be enough testimony to place sufficient doubt in the minds of the jurors to acquit Lazarus. The only evidence the prosecution has against Lazarus is the DNA extracted from saliva on a bite mark on Rasmussen's arm. That evidence will be ruled inadmissible in response to a motion to suppress due to compromised continuity of the evidence and contamination of the DNA sample. The sample was taken at the Coroner's office and was misplaced somewhere in the Coroner's sloppy filing system. The envelope that contained the vial containing the saliva sample had the seal broken so the person who obtained the sample, if that person is still available, could not testify that the sample had not been contaminated. Without the DNA evidence the prosecution has no case. The defense will press on with the trial because they want Lazarus acquitted rather than just released and subject to arrest at a later date.

Anonymous said...

If your commments are true, then seeker's prediction that Lazarus shall walk away free appears to have been an accurate forecast.

Anonymous said...

Any DNA evidence has a chance of being contaminated.