LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An eight woman, four man jury found a former LAPD detective guilty Thursday of first degree murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend’s wife.

The jury found Stephanie Lazarus guilty in the 1986 murder of 29-year-old nursing supervisor Sherri Rasmussen. Rasmussen was shot to death in a Van Nuys condo she shared with her husband, John Ruetten.

(credit: CBS)The couple had been married for three months before Rasmussen was murdered in a jealous rage, prosecutors said.

Investigators originally thought Rasmussen had been murdered in a botched burglary, but DNA from a bite wound and broken fingernails at the crime scene linked Lazarus to the murder 23 years later, prosecutors said.

Lazarus, a former art-theft detective, had been held on $10 million bail since her arrest in 2009.

The jury began deliberating Tuesday afternoon following closing arguments in the three-week long case. It took approximately eight hours of deliberation over a three-day period to reach their verdict.

“We appreciate the jury’s service and hope that Sherri Rasmussen’s family can find closure in knowing that Stephanie Lazarus will face justice for Ms. Rasmussen’s murder. Lazarus’ crimes are deeply disturbing, but it is important to remind the public that the actions of one individual should not tarnish its trust and respect for the more than 9,900 dedicated police officers who serve and protect the community every day,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League said in regards to the verdict.

Lazarus, 51, will be sentenced on May 4.

Comments (9)
  1. gork boneman says:

    So much for the perfect record with LAPD. Criminals- it takes one to know one. Have fun in prison being an ex cop and all.

  2. joe says:


    1. mike says:

      numbr1male@gmail.I can’t even get a job.That’s because that aS$hole lawyer Robert Hale from Hale and Nguyen in Brea couldn’t help me with my case. Now I’m a bitter aS$puck that has a beef with law enforcement and everybody on the internet. I used multiple screen names like [GROW..APAIR], [wg//af], [up//yours], [Mike in San Diego], [Mike in Upland], [1stman] and [kma] so no one can track me down. I challenge people to meet me in front of the Fullerton P.D. station for my protection. I’m such a puS$y dumbf**k with nothing to say I post to myself copying sentences from everyone, especially GROWAPAIR, who knows I’m a ball sniffing loser.

      I’ll use your screen name next, puS$y d!cklips.

      Pay attention to me when I hijack screen names to show I’m a whiny puS$y dumbf**k loser. It makes my ass pucker with joy when people think I’m GROWAPAIR and my daddy’s balls like it when my ass puckers. Tell me how I can sound any more f**king stupid,.

  3. Mike in San Diego says:

    It was the football coach’s fault!!


      GROWAPAIR’s daddy is guilty of having his balls up GROWAPAIR’s aS$.

  4. malsings says:

    Sorry, police are just like everybody else their squeeky clean image has been tarnished for a long time now.

    1. ES says:

      You mean it wasn’t tarnished before? Go figure.

  5. guzzBombs says:

    I guess that biting got her into this mess otherwise she could have been get away with the murder.

  6. uhoh says:

    1 down thousands to go

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