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Guilty plea in DNA cold case murder


Albert Rodriguez Salinas
State of California

A convicted rapist who was linked by his DNA to the 1991 murder of a 93-year-old woman pleaded guilty in Los Angeles, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Albert Rodriguez Salinas, 47, admitted that he strangled and beat his victim to death in exchange for serving a sentence of life in prision without parole. Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty based on special circumstances of burglary and rape. 

Soo Hoo Quon was found dead on her bedroom floor by a home service worker who was delivering her breakfast. She lived in an apartment complex for senior citizens. Her case languished for more than a decade until it got some help by science.  

Back in 1991, California's DNA databse was in its infancy. But over the years, laws were enacted requiring sexual assualt suspets and then then general felon suspects to submit DNA samples for testing. Now California has one of the largest DNA databases in the nation. 

In 2003,two LAPD cold case detectives submitted Quon's DNA to the Caliifornia Department of Justice.  A year later the sample was matched to Salinas, who was on parole for rape and living in Los Angeles. His Megan's Law entry notes numerous scars including a gunshop wound and several aliases.

Salinas was charged in 2004 and pleaded guilty on Oct. 15, said Sandi Gibbons of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Death penalty cases in California often take years to bring to trial because defendants have a myriad of motions that they can file to prolong the process.  

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