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Man Charged In Cold Case Murder Of Woman During Hancock Park Robbery

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Los Angeles man was charged Thursday with capital murder in the 1990 shooting death of a woman during a robbery in the Hancock Park area.

Michael James Tharrington Jr., 41, pleaded not guilty to murder and second-degree robbery charges stemming from the Feb. 10, 1990, slaying of Ann Yao, 31, of Los Angeles.

The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a robbery. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty.

Tharrington also is charged with attempted murder and second-degree robbery involving a male passenger who was in Yao's car.

Yao was shot once in the head while seated in her car, which was parked on Lucerne Avenue south of Wilshire Boulevard, and property was taken from both victims, police said.

Detectives from the LAPD's Cold Case Homicide Special Section said they linked Tharrington to the crime after a review of the case and calling in several witnesses for further questioning. He was arrested Tuesday by the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division.

Tharrington is due back at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse May 14, which is when a hearing date will be set to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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