Man convicted of 1974 killing of Orange County neighbor
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A man has been convicted of strangling a woman in her Orange County apartment four decades ago.
City News Service says jurors deliberated about two hours before convicting 68-year-old Larry Stephens on Tuesday.
Prosecutors say the Santa Rosa man was living in La Palma when he killed a neighbor, 31-year-old Patricia Ross in 1974. Authorities say he didn’t know his victim and the motive for the killing remains unclear.
Investigators say the case was reopened in 1996.
Stephens had never been questioned in the case.
Authorities say DNA testing only linked him to the crime scene after Stephens was arrested for domestic violence and required to submit a DNA sample to a database.
He was convicted of first-degree murder and faces seven years to life in prison.