Lucas to Stand Trial in 3 Slayings

David Allen Lucas, charged with the throat-slash slayings of six women and children since 1979, was ordered Friday to stand trial on three of the murder charges and one charge of attempted murder.

Lucas appeared for arraignment and pleaded innocent before San Diego County Superior Court Judge Thomas Duffy, who set a May 7 trial date. The counts on which Lucas appeared Friday involve the slayings of University of San Diego student Anne Catherine Swanke, 22, whose body was found Nov. 20; Rhonda Strang, 24, and Amber Fisher, a 3-year-old Miss Strang was baby-sitting when the two were slain Oct. 23.

Lucas also is charged with attempted murder in the throat slashing last spring of Jody Santiago, 30, of Seattle. Santiago is credited with providing information that led to the arrest of Lucas, a self-employed Spring Valley carpet cleaner.

The three other charges involve the slaying of a female real estate agent in 1981, and the death of a Normal Heights woman and her son, who were found slain in 1979. Prosecutors have said they will try to have the cases consolidated into one trial.

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