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STATE : 9 Boardinghouse Murders Alleged

From Times wire services

Dorothea Montalvo Puente was charged with eight additional counts of murder today, bringing to nine the number of people the boardinghouse landlady is accused of killing.

Puente, 60, pleaded innocent to the amended complaint, which also includes special circumstances that could bring a death penalty.

Previously she had been charged with the murder of Alvaro Montoya, one of seven bodies unearthed in her boardinghouse yard last November. The new complaint charges her with the murders of the other six and with the murders of the person whose body was found in 1986 in a wooden box in Sutter County and that of a former tenant whose 1982 death had been considered an accidental overdose of codeine.

Prosecutors say she killed the victims, mostly elderly and poor, to get their Social Security checks.

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