A Los Angeles County prosecutor Friday was ordered suspended for 30 days without pay for misrepresenting evidence to obtain a first-degree murder conviction.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Wendy Widlus was informed of her suspension, which goes into effect Monday, in a letter from Chief Deputy Dist. Atty. Gregory Thompson, who cited prosecutorial misconduct as the grounds for the suspension.
Widlus, 36, was harshly rebuked for the incident by the state Court of Appeal last October. The court said she told a jury in a 1985 murder trial that the victim was stabbed to death in South-Central Los Angeles during a street robbery, even though she knew that the items said to have been taken from him had actually been returned to his family by hospital personnel.
The jury subsequently found Titus Lee Brown Jr. guilty of first-degree murder on grounds that the killing occurred during the commission of a robbery.
Superior Court Judge William Pounders, who presided over the trial, said Widlus told him the day after the jury's verdict that she had concealed information about the victim's property. Pounders later reduced the verdict to second-degree murder and referred the matter to the State Bar.