Killer Whose Victim Died of Fright Jailed

Times Staff Writer

A woman charged with murder after terrorizing nine elderly women and men inside their homes in Inglewood and South Los Angeles last year, frightening one of them to death, has been sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.

Francies Louise Davis, 34, of South Los Angeles was sentenced last week by Torrance Superior Court Judge Cecil J. Mills after she entered no-contest pleas to one count of second-degree murder and 15 counts of grand theft, robbery and burglary.

The murder charge stemmed from a July, 1986, incident in the unincorporated county area of Athens. Davis broke into the apartment of Fannie Lazarowitz, 91, and confronted her son, Solomon, with a meat cleaver and what was either a real or toy handgun, Los Angeles Deputy Dist. Atty. Matt Cooper said.

Suffered Heart Attack

Upon seeing Davis with the weapons, the elderly woman suffered a heart attack and died, Cooper said. Her son, 72, who testified against Davis at a preliminary hearing last summer, died in November from heart problems, Cooper said.

The other charges stem from a string of robberies and burglaries Davis commited against elderly people during May through July of last year, Cooper said. Davis sometimes broke into the homes through a window or forced her way in through a door, he said. Money and valuables were taken in most of the robberies.

In one case, she broke into the Athens home of 93-year-old Eululia Newsom while the woman was taking a nap. After Newsom refused to give her any money, Davis locked her in a closet.

Newsom eventually summoned help by squeezing a pendant she wore for medical emergencies. The pendant activated an electronic signal that alerted authorities.

In another case, Davis broke through a patio door and ransacked the Inglewood home of Clinton Arnold, who was able to call police while Davis was inside.

"This is one of the nastiest people I have dealt with," Cooper said in an interview this week. "I have never dealt with anyone who preyed only on old people."

Although she pleaded no contest, Davis has told county probation officers that she did not commit the crimes, Cooper said.

Davis' attorney, Charles Hamel, could not be reached for comment. Davis, the mother of eight children, will be eligible for parole in about 15 years.

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