Wednesday, October 30, 2013

DNA Analyst in Stephanie Lazarus Case Sues LAPD

Jennifer Francis testifying at Lazarus' trial, Feb. 2012;
Nels & Loretta Rasmussen in the gallery.
© 2012 by Thomas Broersma ( 
All rights reserved by the artist.

T&T readers may remember Jennifer Francis, the DNA analyst who testified in the Stephanie Lazarus trial. Francis tested the bite mark swab taken from Sherri Rasmussen's arm the night of her murder. Nearly 20 years later, in early 2005, Francis developed a female DNA profile. The lab report was entered into evidence during the trial (Defense Exhibit HH). Her testimony is recounted in my posts covering  Day 4Day 5 and Day 6 of the Lazarus trial.

Last night, I received an email from civil attorney John Taylor informing me that Francis has filed a lawsuit against the LAPD.  Taylor also included a copy of the complaint.

The complaint alleges:
Francis has been subjected to numerous acts of retaliation and harassment for disclosing and reporting potential inappropriate practices at the LAPD concerning the investigation into the February 1986 murder of Sherri Rasmussen. Plaintiff reported to her supervisors, the LAPD, the District Attorney, and the Office of the Inspector General, that her DNA analysis indicated the direction of the investigation was not correct and that potential suspects were being improperly excluded.  Plaintiff was reporting what amounted to obstruction of justice, false and misleading statements, and other violations of state and federal law and the state and federal constitutions. In essence, Plaintiff was outing a cover-up that lasted almost 25-years, ultimately leading to the conviction of LAPD Detective Stephanie Lazarus for the murder of Sherri Rasmussen, and prompting a public apology by Chief Beck.
Plaintiff was repeatedly shut down when she reported that a female with personal ties to the victim may be involved in the Rasmussen murder.
You can read the full complaint HERE.

LA Times - Evidence Pointing to LAPD Officer in Murder Case Ignored, Suit Claims


CaliGirl9 said...

I hope she prevails, there was so much wasted energy and resources hassling Ms. Francis. Feeding frenzy of idiocy, selfishness and testosterone.

Kenneth Barn said...

I hope everything get solve as soon as possible. I can't believe that this case has this kind of back-story that's only being revealed today.

ritanita said...

I'm rooting for her. It's a shame this case went cold, despite her efforts. Stephanie had someone on her side all along.

Miz V said...

Wow.. Wow .. Wow!!! I never thought this was a coverup just sloppy police work.