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Attorney for boyfriend charged in death of reality TV lawyer says it was self-defense

The boyfriend of Los Angeles police officer-turned-reality-TV attorney Loredana Nesci was charged with murder Friday, but his attorney said her death was a case of self-defense.

The arraignment for Robert Reagan, 51, was delayed until Aug. 12 at the request of his attorney, Shepard Kopp.

In an emailed statement to the Los Angeles Times, Kopp said Nesci tried to attack his client with a knife Wednesday and he defended himself.

“Loredana Nesci was a former LAPD officer, highly trained in the use of deadly weapons. She was also an avid body builder, and was exceptionally strong. She attacked Robert with a hunting knife in the midst of a domestic dispute,” Kopp wrote. “While defending himself against her assault with a deadly weapon, Robert tried to disarm her, and in the intense struggle that ensued she tragically suffered a fatal wound. Robert is not guilty of committing any criminal offense.”

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Nesci, the star of SundanceTV’s “Loredana, Esq.,” was killed inside the home she shared with Reagan in the 1900 block of Nelson Avenue, Redondo Beach Police Sgt. Fabian Saucedo said. She was 47.

Reagan was “distraught” when he called police to the home about 7:20 a.m. Wednesday to report an emergency, Saucedo said.

“It was kind of weird actually. He didn’t say anything. It’s one of those things we call an unknown trouble call,” Saucedo said Thursday. “It was very vague, like ‘What’s going on?’ ”

Police automatically respond to 911 calls, so they drove by Nesci’s home — where Reagan waited outside, Saucedo said.

“He gave them details of what may have occurred, and as a result, [the officers] decided they better go in and check the welfare. That’s where they found the body,” Saucedo said. “Obviously it was some kind of domestic dispute; otherwise, it wouldn’t have led to this.”

After police discovered Nesci’s body, Reagan was arrested on suspicion of murder. He is being held in lieu of $1-million bail.

Alex Agnone said she stepped outside her home Wednesday and found the street filled with police cars. There were at least six officers alongside six plainclothes detectives and a firetruck, she said.

“It’s so scary,” she said. “All the neighbors said they didn’t hear anything.”

Agnone, who works as a nanny for the family living across the street from Nesci’s home, said she and many others on the street never spoke with the woman or her boyfriend.

It’s a safe, quiet neighborhood, and “you don’t think of anything like this happening,” she said.

Neighbor Nicole Peterson, 29, said she didn’t hear any fighting before Nesci’s death. She said the couple did argue regularly, though, at least a couple times a week.

“But then I heard nothing for at least a month,” Peterson said as she walked past leftover construction materials in front of Nesci’s home Thursday. “I guess it was the calm before the storm.”

Nesci and Reagan have a young son who was not home when police arrived, Saucedo said. But he could not say whether the boy was home when Nesci was killed and if he was taken from the home before police arrived.

A native of Connecticut, Nesci joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1996 and worked as a patrol officer in the southwest division, according to a biography on her website. An LAPD spokeswoman declined to confirm that Nesci was a former employee, citing privacy issues.

Nesci said she was among the officers present during the North Hollywood shootout.

Her career with the LAPD was brief. She left the department in 1998 and enrolled in law school at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. In 2004, she returned to California and melded her legal career with pursuits in entertainment and media, including hosting a radio show on KCAA-AM (1050).

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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