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2 men charged with 1978 murder

On May 28, it was announced that two individuals were charged for their alleged involvement in the 1978 murder of a California woman. The two men, ages 58 and 59, were reportedly connected to the case through DNA evidence.

The report stated that in December 1978, at least two men entered a store where the 20-year-old mother of three was working. After allegedly robbing the store, the men were accused of kidnapping the woman at gunpoint before forcing her into a vehicle. Her body was found three days later. The autopsy that was performed revealed that she had been sexually assaulted before being shot multiple times.

Both the accused men were charged with capital murder and, if found guilty, could potentially be given the death penalty. Both men reportedly had been members of a local gang when the woman vanished, and both had a criminal record. The 58-year-old man reportedly had been charged with robbery as a juvenile. The 59-year-old man is currently in prison after being convicted on a number of robberies that began in 1971. He was also facing charges for murdering two men in 1976.

A person who is accused of homicide in the state of California may potentially face very serious consequences. In the most extreme cases, the potential penalty could be life in prison or even the death sentence. If the circumstances dictate, a criminal defense attorney might attempt to mount several challenges to the evidence, including questioning whether or not the DNA allegedly connecting the defendant to the crime was properly handled and analyzed.

Source: New York Daily News, "2 former gang members charged for 1978 rape, murder of California mother of three", Jason Silverstein, May 28, 2015

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