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Orange County DA seeks to wrestle away cold-case murder from DA George Gascon in LA – Daily News

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitizer has filed a short in search of to take over the prosecution from Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón of a violent predator charged with the 1981 kidnapping and murder of a 6-year-old Anaheim Hills boy.

Kenneth Kasten Rasmuson after his arrest in Idaho in 2015. (Bonner County Jail by way of Orange County Register)

Kenneth Kasten Rasmuson, 53, of Sandpoint, Idaho, stays in jail in reference to the slaying of Jeffrey Vargo, however Gascon’s newly imposed directives have compelled prosecutors in his office to transfer to dismiss particular circumstances and enhancements.

Rasmuson was charged late final week by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office with one felony rely of murder and two particular circumstances — murder in the course of the course of a kidnapping and murder throughout a lewd or lascivious act on a toddler underneath the age of 14.

Those costs would make Rasmuson eligible for the demise penalty if convicted.

In Los Angeles County, he’s charged with the murders of Jeffrey and one other 6-year-old boy who was killed in Agoura Hills in 1986. Although Rasmuson was charged with particular circumstances enhancements underneath earlier L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Gascon has moved to dismiss these allegations.

Rasmuson’s prolonged legal historical past consists of convictions for sexually assaulting two different Southern California boys in 1981 and 1987.

“Jeffrey’s family will have justice,”  Spitzer mentioned in a press release. “I refuse to permit the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s ‘one-size fits all’ method to forestall the household of a 6-year-old murdered baby from attaining the justice that they deserve. His crimes are the stuff of fogeys’ nightmares and I’ll do all the pieces in my energy to be certain that this pedophile is held accountable for his crimes and is off the streets for the remainder of his life. We is not going to take any probability of getting this sexually violent predator come in contact with yet one more baby.

“If George Gascon refuses to follow the law in prosecuting a pedophile murderer, I will.”

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office didn’t instantly reply Tuesday to requests for remark.

Photos of Jeffrey Vargo are proven with newspaper clippings about his 1981 kidnapping and murder. Jeffrey’s accused killer, Kenneth Rasmuson, was arrested in 2015 and hasn’t but gone to trial. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

On July 2, 1981, Jeffrey was using his bike close to his Anaheim Hills dwelling when Rasmuson allegedly kidnapped him. The boy’s physique was discovered the subsequent day about 25 miles away at a building website in Pomona’s Phillips Ranch neighborhood, however it wasn’t till 2015 that DNA would lead to Rasmuson’s arrest.

Jeffrey’s mother and father, Bob and Connie Vargo, mentioned in a press release they’re happy Spitzer is in taking the case over. “We agreed moving to Orange County would speed up the process, and Rasmuson would receive the punishment he deserves,” they mentioned. “Life without parole or death.”

Since taking office in December, Gascón has imposed sweeping social justice adjustments which have roiled his personal deputy district attorneys and angered households of crime victims.

Among Gascón’s most controversial insurance policies are directives prohibiting prosecutors from in search of the demise penalty and forbidding them from submitting particular circumstances allegations that would end result in a life sentence with out the potential of parole or the demise penalty

Kimberly Edds, a spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, mentioned Tuesday that Spitzer’s resolution to file the amicus temporary and costs in opposition to Rasmussen was prompted by a Southern California News Group report final month detailing the fears of Jeffrey’s mother and father that Rasmuson may be paroled someday if convicted.

Connie and Bob Vargo at their dwelling in Anaheim Hills are proven with a photograph of their 6-year-old son, Jeffrey Vargo, who was kidnapped and murdered in 1981. Jeffrey’s accused killer, Kenneth Rasmuson, was arrested in 2015 and hasn’t but gone to trial. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

In an interview with SCNG on the time, Connie Vargo, 73, expressed outrage as a result of Gascon “doesn’t want the death penalty and doesn’t want life in prison without parole. If Rasmuson gets credit for the time already served in jail, he could be out in maybe 15 years. I know he is never going to be executed, at least not in my lifetime. I would be happy if he went to prison for the rest of his miserable life and rotted there.”

Edds mentioned Spitzer stands prepared to obtain justice for Jeffrey and his household if Gascon refuses to achieve this.

During a listening to Monday, Feb. 22, in Pomona, Spitzer will argue in opposition to Gascon’s transfer to dismiss the particular circumstances allegations in Los Angeles County’s prosecution of Rasmuson.