Killer of 2 Is Sentenced to 50 Years to Life

A 28-year-old Canoga Park man was sentenced Friday to 50 years to life in state prison for the murders of two women in the West San Fernando Valley.

The man, Robert Patrick Meyer, pleaded guilty in January to nine felony charges, including two counts of first-degree murder and four counts of burglary. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the special-circumstance allegation of multiple murder, which would have made Meyer eligible for the death penalty.

One of the victims, Goldie McClelland, 87, was found beaten and strangled in her Canoga Park home in October, 1985. The second victim, Helen Barry, 60, was beaten with her own cane, then strangled in her Canoga Park apartment last July. Both women had been sexually assaulted, police said.

Arrested During Break-In

Meyer, a dishwasher, cook and handyman, came under suspicion for the killings in August, when he was arrested while breaking into an apartment in the same neighborhood. Investigators found a dress and bloody towels from Barry's apartment stuffed in a storm drain near Meyer's home, Deputy Dist. Atty. Lloyd M. Nash said.

"It was a great police investigation," Nash said.

In court records, a probation officer quoted Meyer as saying that he had no excuse for what he had done and "never dreamed" it was possible for him to commit such violence.

He blamed his actions, in part, on his abuse of drugs and alcohol after breaking up with his girlfriend.

Meyer will be eligible for parole in about 33 years, but prison authorities seldom release a murderer after the first hearing, Nash said.

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