Man ordered to stand trial for 1985 slaying of Covina woman

POMONA — A judge Wednesday ordered a former San Dimas man arrested in Las Vegas earlier this year in connection with the murder of a Covina woman 26 years ago to stand trial Wednesday.
Stafford Joel Spicer, 55, is charged with the death of aspiring model and travel agency employee Jo Anne Marie, 23, of Covina, who went missing after leaving her boyfriend’s condo in Long Beach on April 28, 1985.
Her body was discovered off of East Fork Road, near highway 39, in the Angeles National Forest more than a month later.
After a three-day preliminary hearing in Pomona Superior Court, Judge Bruce Marrs ruled that there was sufficient evidence to hold Spicer for a trial, court officials said.
He’s scheduled to return to court Jan. 24 for an arraignment.
Prosecutors allege the killing occurred as Spicer was trying to kidnap, rob and rape Jones.
He was found driving Jones 1978 Chevrolet Camaro and initially arrested three days after Jones went missing, but more than a month before her body was found, authorities said. He was ultimately released due to a lack of evidence.
In 2009, Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide detectives learned new information and obtained new DNA evidence that caused them to take another look at the 26-year-old investigation, authorities said. Recent advances in DNA technology also made the arrest possible.
He was taken into custody in Las Vegas, where he had since moved.
According to county booking records, Spicer is being held without bail at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles pending trial.

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