A man convicted of strangling a woman in her West Los Angeles home more than three decades ago was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison.
Leonard Dominguez, now 57, was convicted Nov. 14 of second-degree murder. Sandra Phillips, 33, was found dead in her home April 9, 1979.
The panel acquitted Dominguez of first-degree murder.
Los Angeles police said the case went unsolved for more than 30 years until detectives with the department's Cold Case Special Section had biological evidence tested that was recovered from the scene.
A genetic profile based on evidence from the scene was entered into the state Department of Justice's databank, and detectives were notified that it matched Dominguez, whose genetic profile was entered into the system after a drug-related arrest, police said.
“Without that arrest, we wouldn't have found him,” Deputy District Attorney Jane Creighton said after the jury's verdict.
Dominguez was arrested in March 2010 in with Phillips' murder and has been jailed since.
--City News Service