LOS ANGELES, June 8 (UPI) -- Los Angeles County prosecutors Monday charged a Los Angeles Police Department detective with premeditated murder in case that dates back to 1986.
Prosecutors said they had not decided whether to seek the death penalty for Stephanie Ilene Lazarus, 49, but execution is a possibility if Lazarus is convicted of killing her former boyfriend's wife, Sherri Rae Rasmussen. Prosecutors allege a special circumstance -- that Lazarus killed Rasmussen during a burglary -- the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
Rasmussen had been severely beaten and suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Lazarus was a patrol officer at the time of the slaying and homicide detectives did not focus on her -- instead considering the possibility that Rasmussen had come upon two men in her home after they had robbed another woman nearby.
Cold case detectives recently learned from DNA testing that the killer was probably a woman, and they found Lazarus' name in the case file as the lover of Rasmussen's husband. They obtained a sample of her DNA surreptitiously and allege it matched material found at the crime scene 23 years ago.
Lazarus was arrested Friday at LAPD headquarters and is expected to be arraigned Tuesday, the Times said.