Opening statements delivered in cold case murder

Stephanie Sommers, murdered in Silver Lake in 1980.
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Opening statements were delivered Monday in the long-awaited trial of a convicted killer charged with killing former Newhall resident Stephanie Sommers four decades ago.

Harold Anthony Parkinson, 60, appeared Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Stephanie Sommers, murdered in 1980.

Parkinson is serving 15 years to life in Chuckawalla Valley State Prison for the 1981 shooting murder of Derek Eugene Perry.

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.

Last year, family and friends of the murdered woman were eagerly looking forward to the trial and told it would begin in August 2018.

Family members of the murdered woman told The Signal early last year that they plan on attending every day of the trial once it gets going.

“I think it’s miraculous he was arrested. If he is found guilty, then we would be elated,” Jerry Roberts, who is married to murdered woman’s sister Sherry, said at that time.

Earlier this month, the sister of Derek Perry said she too planned to be in court each day.

The Sommers 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.

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On Twitter: @jamesarthurholt

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