Jury selection begins in cold case murder trial

Stephanie Sommers, murdered in Silver Lake in 1980.
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Jury selection got underway Tuesday in the long-awaited trial of convicted killer Harold Anthony Parkinson charged with killing former Newhall resident Stephanie Sommers. 

“Jury selection began today and jury trial is in progress tomorrow,” Venusse Navid, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said Tuesday.

Parkinson, 60, was arrested five years ago on suspicion of the Sommers murder.

He began serving a sentence of 15 years to life on March 5, 1982, at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison for the 1981 murder of Derek Eugene Perry.

Perry was shot and killed by Parkinson on April 8, 1981, in Los Angeles.

On Aug. 30, 1980, shortly after she moved to the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles from Newhall, Sommers was murdered in her apartment on the 3500 block of Marathon Street.

Sommers had been beaten and stabbed, prosecutors for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release issued at the time of Parkinson’s arrest. 

She was 36 years old.

The case remained unsolved for more than three decades. Detectives arrested Parkinson on June 19, 2014.

Law enforcement officials say forensic evidence taken from the crime scene 34 years ago and processed just four years ago was linked to Parkinson.

The day after he was arrested on suspicion of Sommers’ murder by detectives assigned to the Cold Case section of the Los Angeles Police Department, Parkinson was arraigned on one count of murder with the special circumstance allegation of rape.

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