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The lawyer representing the murder suspect in a nearly 40-year-old California case is claiming it’s possible that her client may have had sex with the victim after she died, not before.
Mitchell Lynn Bacom was arrested in 2017 for the 1980 kidnapping and murder of 14-year-old Suzanne Bombardier, whose body was found in the Antioch River, local outlet East Bay Times reports.
During a superior court hearing on Monday, September 9, he was ordered to stand trial for murder along with special circumstances of rape, oral copulation, kidnapping, and burglary, after prosecutors said DNA links him to the murder.
Bacom’s attorney Cynthia Scofield didn’t argue about the DNA evidence, and admitted that there was probably sexual contact between her client and the girl, but insisted that doesn’t mean he raped and killed her, according to local outlet Mercury News.
She pointed to possible necrophilia as a defense.
“We have no evidence the sexual act was prior to death…we cannot assume that,” Scofield said.
Bombardier, an honor roll student who loved Rod Stewart, vanished while babysitting her nieces on June 22, 1980. A few days later her body was discovered by a fisherman in the San Joaquin River. The teen, who went by “Suzie,” had been raped and stabbed in the heart, investigators said.
Prosecutors say that Bacom abducted the teen from her sister’s apartment, where Bombardier was babysitting. Bacom and Bombardier’s sister had dated in the past.
Writer Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons, who was credited for keeping attention on the case while it was still cold, was in the courtroom on Monday and told Oxygen.com, “When I heard both lawyers describe their versions of what happened, I almost became ill. I knew Suzie died violently. It was hard hearing it out loud.”
She said when Bacom was led out of the courtroom she “tried not to look at him, but I did,I felt this chill come over me," and called the necrophilia defense “disgusting.”
Bombardier's murder had been a cold case for decades until new technology linked Bacom, who was originally questioned in the original investigation of her murder in 1980, to her death.
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