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Former cop gets 25 years to life in wife’s murder

first_imgDuring the two-month trial, prosecutors and witnesses described her as a committed family woman. Jurors heard testimony from her friends, who said she confessed to fearing her husband would kill her if she tried to leave him. Several witnesses also testified to seeing a scratch or scratches on John Racz in the days after she disappeared, suggesting there could have been a struggle with his wife. A few jurors said after the verdict that John Racz’s inconsistent statements after his wife went missing played an important role in securing his conviction. Racz joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1973 and left in 1985 after rising to the rank of sergeant. Before and after his time with the department, he was a public school teacher in Compton. He retired in 2001. In the case presented by prosecutors, Racz killed his wife on April 22, 1991. Taking the children with her, Ann Racz on April 18 moved out of the family’s home on Fortuna Drive and into a nearby condo she was renting from the owners. The afternoon of April 22, she returned to the home with the children, and witnesses said they saw her and her husband talking in the driveway. Ann Racz stayed in her car the whole time, witnesses said. Ann Racz drove off alone to get a snack for the children at McDonald’s, which was just a few minutes away, witnesses said. Neighbors testified to seeing John Racz drive off after she left, and that he looked as if he was following her. Ann Racz’s children testified their mother never returned that day. Before he left, John Racz told his children he would go to McDonald’s instead of their mom, according to the testimony of Joann Racz, 31, the couple’s oldest child. Although she was unsure how long he was gone, she testified that when her father finally came home, the food from McDonald’s was cold.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A former sheriff’s deputy convicted of killing his wife was sentenced this morning to 25 years to life in prison. Before being sentenced, John Racz denied killing his wife, professing his innocence. His wife’s family also spoke in court about their loss. Last month, a jury of eight men and four women found Racz, 61, of Valencia guilty of first-degree murder in the 1991 death of his estranged wife, Ann Mineko Racz, 42. Her body has never been found, which forced prosecutors to first convince jurors that she was dead, and then that Racz had killed her. last_img read more