1980 murder case headed for readiness hearing

Stephanie Sommers, murdered in Silver Lake in 1980.

Friends and family of a woman killed four decades ago expressed relief that the man accused of killing her was going to trial.

That was 16 months ago.

Now the man charged with the murder of former Newhall resident Stephanie Sommers is scheduled to appear Thursday for a “readiness hearing” to determine if lawyers on both sides are ready to go to trial.

Stephanie Sommers, murdered in 1980.

Harold Anthony Parkinson, 59, who was arrested five years ago on suspicion of the Sommers killing, appeared Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Family members of the murdered woman told The Signal in May 2018 they plan on attending every day of the trial once it gets going.

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

Stephanie 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, who is currently serving a 15-years-to-life sentence for an unrelated 1981 murder in Los Angeles.

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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