Trial, Competency Hearing Set for Men Accused of Venice Woman's Murder

The decades-old murder went unsolved for years until DNA database hit identified a suspect.

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Getty Images

A trial and a competency hearing is scheduled Tuesday for the men accused of the rape and murder of an 80-year-old woman at her Venice home in 1975.

The trial of Dennis Vasquez, 56, is expected to begin Tuesday at the Los Angeles Superior Court Airport Branch. Vasquez and long with a friend, Kevin Michael Shanahan, 55, are accused of raping and strangling Alice Lewis inside her home in the 3500 block of Meir Street on Dec. 1975. Shanahan is a facing a competency hearing.

Vasquez was 17 and Shanahan was 15 at the time of the murder. According to police, the two were close friends at the time and lived near the victim.

The case went cold until 2009 when a DNA hit from the state’s DNA database identified Vazquez as a suspect. He was arrested and charged with murder.

Additional evidence led police to Shanahan, who was living in Minnesota. He was arrested in 2010 and charged with murder.



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