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Local News in Brief : Transient Charged in Death of Roommate

A 27-year-old transient who authorities say strangled her 67-year-old roommate with the strap of her bib overalls after he asked her to move out of his Encino apartment was charged Tuesday with murder.

Adele Kathy Rodriguez is accused in the Aug. 29 killing of Stanley Wittman, a retired aircraft company employee who had invited her to move into his apartment about a month earlier, Deputy Dist. Atty. Christine Thurman said.

Wittman’s badly decomposed body was discovered Sept. 15 at his apartment at 5474 Newcastle Ave. in Encino, Thurman said. Police believe he was strangled with the strap of Rodriguez’s overalls, said Detective Pat Conmay of the Los Angeles Police Department. He refused to say why police suspect that.

Rodriguez on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to one count of murder before Van Nuys Municipal Court Commissioner Patricia Gorner Schwartz, who scheduled her preliminary hearing for Oct. 6.

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Police believe the killing occurred during an argument that resulted when Wittman asked Rodriguez to move out, Conmay said.

Rodriguez was arrested Sept. 23 by Los Angeles police after one of her friends was caught driving Wittman’s car in North Hollywood. The friend then led police to Rodriguez, whom police already had been seeking for questioning, Conmay said.

Wittman moved to the Encino apartment after his wife, Helen, 42, and son, Danny, 20, were shot to death Oct. 6, 1987, in a dispute with a neighboring family at their home in North Hollywood, Los Angeles Detective Mike Coffey said.

Rodriguez is being held in Sybil Brand Institute in lieu of $500,000 bail.

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