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Retired public defender stabbed to death at San Francisco home

Police have held for questioning a man found covered in blood inside the home of a retired San Francisco public defender who was stabbed to death, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

Marla Zamora was killed at her house in the 400 block of Arkansas Street, San Francisco police told the newspaper. Officers who were called to the Potrero Hill residence late Friday morning found her body in the backyard, police said.

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It was unknown what relationship, if any, she had with the unidentified man found inside the home. The motive for the slaying remained under investigation, according to the Chronicle.

Zamora, a public defender for three decades, was the office's principal trial attorney before she retired in 2007 and went into private practice.

Among her highest-profile cases was one involving the 2012 killings of a San Francisco father and two of his sons, according to the Associated Press.

Zamora defended gang member Edwin Ramos, who was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths.

The case drew national attention after it was revealed that Ramos had never been turned over for deportation despite previous run-ins with the law as a juvenile under San Francisco's sanctuary policy for unauthorized immigrants, the AP reported.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi, with whom Zamora worked, expressed shock at the news of her death.

"Marla was really a guardian angel," Adachi told the Chronicle. "She is someone who epitomized what a public defender should aspire toward. She was just a tremendously caring, compassionate person."

For more news, follow @kchristensenLAT on Twitter.

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