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  1. #1

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    Larry Kusuth Hazlett, Jr. - California Death Row

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    Larry Kusuth Hazlett


    Summary of Offense:

    On October 24, 1978, Hazlett raped and murdered former beauty queen, Tana Woolley. Hazlett lived in Woolley’s apartment building and was the prime suspect initially, but police lacked evidence to arrest him. The case went unsolved for 24 years until DNA evidence pointed to Hazlett. In aggravation, prosecution presented evidence of four other rapes Hazlett committed. The defense attacked the DNA evidence, arguing the semen was not initially found on the bedspread.

    Hazlett was sentenced to death in Kern County on July 14, 2004.

  2. #2
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    Hazlett is featured on tonight's episode of "Beauty Queen Murders" on ID Network. It will air again at 1:00 a.m. EDT.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  3. #3
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    Docket (Register of Actions)

    PEOPLE v. HAZLETT (LARRY KUSUTH) Case Number S126387

    Direct appeal pending.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  4. #4
    December 19, 2002

    Man accused in slaying has long history of arrests

    By STEVE E. SWENSON, Californian staff writer

    The man arrested for raping and murdering a popular Rosamond woman 24 years
    ago has a long history of arrests -- but few convictions -- for assault and
    sexual-related offenses, court documents released Thursday say.

    But Larry Kusuth Hazlett, 55, is a registered sex offender for a misdemeanor
    child molestation conviction and he fits much of a 1983 FBI profile about
    what type of person killed and sexually assaulted 20-year-old Tana Woolley
    in Rosamond, court reports say.

    The profile says the way Woolley was killed indicates an interracial
    crime -- Hazlett is black and Woolley is white -- by someone who was
    rejected by the victim.

    Hazlett was brought to court Thursday to be arraigned on potential capital
    murder charges in Woolley's strangulation death, but his arraignment was
    delayed to Dec. 26 so that he can try to find an attorney.

    He is charged with murder and special circumstances -- eligible for the
    death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole -- of
    murder during a rape and murder during a burglary.

    District Attorney Ed Jagels said a final decision has not been made on
    whether to seek the death penalty against Hazlett.

    Hazlett lived in the same Poplar Street apartment complex as Woolley -- his
    back window faced her front window -- and he was interviewed by sheriff's
    deputies Oct. 25, 1978, the day the victim's mother found her partially nude
    daughter laying dead on her bed with a blue sock wrapped around her neck.

    At that time, Hazlett said he went to the store on the night before --
    during the time witnesses said they heard screams, but shrugged them off as
    children -- and he didn't learn about the death until the day the body was
    found.

    Witnesses reported that Woolley, who moved away from her parents and into
    the apartment complex just three weeks earlier, had expressed concerns about
    white men staring at her but she also thought someone from Hazlett's
    apartment was looking at her.

    That made her very careful about opening her door, even when her boyfriend
    came by.

    He told investigators she would look out a window before opening up the door
    for him, and when he dropped her off -- as he did at 10:30 p.m. Oct. 24,
    1978, less than an hour before the screams were heard -- would look around
    her apartment to make sure no one was there.

    Just before her boyfriend, Ricky Max Rush, then 18, took her to her
    apartment that night, they played backgammon and watched "Starsky and Hutch"
    on television. Rush was examined but ruled out as a suspect in the case.

    No real progress in the case was made and it became inactive in 1983, after
    the FBI profile was made.

    That profile by Special Agent Blaine McIlwaine says the door jam of
    Woolley's apartment indicates the front door was forcibly opened.

    He said the offender surprised the victim and hit her in the mouth in the
    living room where an alarm clock was knocked over (she normally slept in the
    living room).

    Woolley rejected the offender's advances and he became angry, using a blue
    sock he took off her left foot and wrapped it around her neck, strangling
    her to death. The profiler called it a weapon of opportunity.

    The profile says the offender is probably in his late teens to early 20s --
    Hazlett was 31 at the time -- and he will have a penchant for violence and
    assaultive behavior.

    A criminal record for Hazlett shows arrests from 1969 for drugs, burglary,
    assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, rape, resisting arrest before
    1979, but only one conviction for assault in 1971.

    In 1973, Hazlett was investigated for raping a woman, but the woman declined
    to follow through with the investigation and Hazlett said he had consensual
    sex with the woman, court records say.

    Hazlett worked at U.S. Borax, but quit in December 1978 after he was accused
    of making tape-recorded bomb threats at the plant -- an accusation he
    denied.

    His criminal history continued with arrests from 1979 to 1992 for theft,
    indecent exposure, rape and child molest in various cities, ending with a
    1992 misdemeanor conviction in Sacramento where he worked as a music
    teacher.

    He was acquitted of five other crimes in the case in which he was convicted
    of the misdemeanor.

    The Woolley case was reopened by Kern County sheriff's Detective Chris Speer
    in 1999 who began to focus on Hazlett because of his criminal history.

    On Tuesday of this week, Hazlett told Kern County detectives that he was
    framed in the Sacramento case. He also told the detectives he was innocent
    of Woolley's death and never was inside of her apartment.

    Detective Joe Hicks asked, "Would it change your story if I told you from
    the original crime scene, the Kern County District Attorney lab found
    biological evidence of you being present?"

    Hazlett replied, "That's a damn lie and at this junction I want a lawyer
    right now."

    http://www.corpus-delicti.com/bakersfield_121902.html

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