Trial Ordered in Kidnaping, Torture Slaying of Girl, 7

A 55-year-old convicted sex offender was ordered Friday to stand trial in Riverside in the 1986 kidnaping and torture-murder of 7-year-old Phoebe Ho of South Pasadena.

Warren James Bland will be arraigned April 18 in Riverside County Superior Court on charges of first-degree murder with special circumstances that could bring the death penalty, said supervising Deputy Dist. Atty. Creg Datig.

Phoebe disappeared while walking to school shortly before Christmas five years ago. A highly publicized search for the child ended a week later when her body was found in a field near California 60 in Glen Avon. Expert witnesses testified that the child had been repeatedly raped, sodomized and tortured, apparently with clamps or pliers, before she was strangled.

Bland, an Alhambra man with a 26-year history of sex crimes, was on parole when the attack occurred.