Man sentenced for 1994 slaying of Diamond Bar gas station attendant

DIAMOND BAR >> A judge sentenced a man to life in prison for the fatal shooting of an Anaheim man during a botched robbery in Diamond Bar more than 22 years ago.
A jury convicted Lino Acero, 39, in March of first-degree murder for the Nov. 18, 1994 slaying 42-year-old Mahfouz Ghabour of Anaheim. The jury also found true the special allegations that Acero personally used a handgun in the crime.
At his sentencing in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles Superior Court, he received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani.
Ghabour was working at an ARCO gas station on Diamond Bar Boulevard when Acero and a still-unidentified accomplice entered.
“During the failed robbery, one of the suspects fatally shot Ghabour,” Ardalani said in a written statement. The two killers then fled empty handed.
Jurors were shown surveillance video of the killing during the trial.
In the video, “Acero is seen entering an employee hatch to get behind the counter before pulling out a gun,” Ardalani said. “Ghabour then grasps his chest and starts to bleed before he falls to the floor.”
The two killers fled the scene. The case would remain unsolved for more than 20 years.
Despite an exhaustive homicide investigation, the case went cold, officials said.
Ten years later, Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives who were continuing the investigation had the surveillance video of the shooting featured on television.
“The video’s appearance on TV led to a tip on the shooter, however detectives needed to continue to investigate the case,” Ardalani said.
Authorities arrested and charged Acero in connection with the killing in June of 2014.

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LAPD detective picked up in 1986 cold case homicide

This from LAObserved via the LA Times:

Stephanie Ilene Lazarus, 49, was arrested this morning at Parker Center. Cold case investigation into the 1986 beating death of the wife of her ex-boyfriend led to Lazarus, and her DNA was secretly gathered last week to help make the case.

In a City News story, the head of the Police Protective League is also quoted responding to the news:

Paul M. Weber, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said Lazarus’
arrest “is deeply disturbing to LAPD officers and the people of Los Angeles.”
“If convicted, the actions of one police officer should not tarnish the trust and
respect the public has for the more than 9,800 dedicated police officers who serve and
protect the community and its residents every day,” he said.

Here’s the LATimes story archive on the case.

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