Homeless man charged with murder, defiling corpse in L.A. probation officer’s slaying
The man who broke into an off-duty L.A. County probation officer’s home and killed her early Sunday morning was trying to sexually assault her and defiled her remains, prosecutors said.
Officer Paula Lind, 52, was beaten to death inside her Lancaster home on Barrymore Avenue shortly after midnight Sunday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff’s homicide Lt. Michael Gomez said deputies arrested a man at the scene whom they described as a “transient” known to the area.
On Tuesday, prosecutors filed charges against the unidentified homeless man of murder, residential burglary, assault with intent to commit rape during a burglary and sexual contact with human remains. According to court documents, he is 33 and sometimes uses the name Sandro Bladimir Martinez-Marroquin.
Gomez said the man had no identification when he was arrested and investigators do not believe Martinez-Marroquin is his real name. Prosecutors charged him as a “John Doe.”
“The murder of Officer Lind has shocked all of Los Angeles County, and we in the district attorney’s office extend our condolences to her family, friends and Probation Department colleagues,” Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón said in a statement.
“That this officer who dedicated her career to public safety fell victim to senseless and depraved violence in her home is beyond tragic,” Gascón said. “We will do all in our power to hold the person responsible for this to account.”
Law enforcement officials have not indicated that the assault had anything to do with Lind’s work as a probation officer. Prosecutors also filed a gun enhancement in the case. The defendant was armed with a shotgun during the assault, but it was not fired, said Matthew Krasnowski, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office.
Gomez previously said the suspect broke into the home by smashing through a sliding door and got into a physical altercation with Lind before her death. She suffered serious injuries to her head, Gomez said. Authorities said she was beaten to death.
Lind normally monitored adult probationers in the field but had worked an overtime shift at Barry J. Nidorf juvenile hall in Sylmar over the weekend to help with an ongoing staffing shortage, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the case candidly, said the victim had just come home from work when the attack happened. Lind is survived by her longtime boyfriend, who is also a probation officer, several colleagues said.
The defendant was scheduled to be arraigned in the Antelope Valley courthouse Tuesday afternoon, but the hearing was continued. It was not immediately clear who would be acting as his defense attorney.
“The entire AFSCME Local 685 family mourns the loss of Officer Lind. She dedicated her life to providing an alternative to incarceration for adults and youth,” said Hans Liang, president of the union that represents deputy probation officers. “As the investigation into the motive behind this senseless murder continues, it’s important to remind the public that the job of a probation officer is very dangerous.”
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