Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN CHARGED WITH 1984 COLD CASE MURDER
OF 84-YEAR-OLD WOMAN AFTER
BEING LINKED THOUGH DNA
ANAHEIM – A man has been charged with the cold-case murder of an 84-year-old apartment complex owner in 1984. Richard Stanley Sandoval, 57, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of rape or attempted rape and faces a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. Sandoval was arrested yesterday, April 12, 2011, by the Anaheim Police Department (APD) and is being held without bail. He is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Thursday, April 14, 2011, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
At the time of his arrest, Sandoval was in Chino State Prison for a 1985 forcible rape conviction. He was scheduled to be released from prison on that case today, April 13, 2011. As a result of that conviction, his DNA was submitted to the State database.
In 1984, 84-year-old Margaret Lenney owned and lived in an Anaheim apartment complex on Winston Road. Sandoval is accused of being hired by the victim to paint the complex, but did a poor job and was fired. He is accused of returning to the complex on several occasions to ask to borrow money from tenants.
On the night of Sept. 23, 1984, Sandoval is accused of going to Lenney’s apartment. He is accused of raping or attempting to rape the elderly victim and then murdering her. He is accused of then fleeing the scene.
APD officers responded to calls and located the victim bleeding on her front porch. Lenney’s pants and underwear had been pulled all the way down and her shirt had been lifted to expose her breasts.
Based on the investigation, Sandoval was identified as a suspect and located the day after the murder two blocks from the crime scene. The defendant was arrested and later released.
APD recently began re-investigating the case. The Orange County Crime Laboratory tested DNA evidence from the scene and linked Sandoval to the murder.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Mike Murray of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.