☛ TS Former HSU professor hints about wife's death
Former Humboldt State University swimming coach Larry Angelel stopped short of an out-and-out confession, but said during a Sept. 11 court appearance that he was responsible for his wife's death -- and claimed the act wasn't premeditated.
A jury of six men and six women found Angelel guilty of first-degree murder of his estranged wife, Lonna Angelel, on June 24, 1997. He'd maintained his innocence throughout the trial. She was reported missing Dec. 17, 1995 and her headless body was found Feb. 10, 1996, two miles from the couple's Fieldbrook home on Simpson Timber Co. land under a pile of branches.
Ten days later, Angelel was arrested on suspicion of murder. After a lengthy trial, Angelel was found guilty and subsequently sentenced to 25 years to life. He was serving time at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. Angelel's appeal of his conviction was denied on May 5, 1999.
Angelel has been in Humboldt County since February 2007 to pursue a writ of habeas corpus. The action alleges that his public defender provided ineffective counsel by not ensuring DNA testing of hairs found on the victim's body that, he argued, may have pointed to another responsible party.
It was during the Sept. 11 court appearance on that matter that Angelel hinted to his culpability in Lonna Angelel's death.
”The Petitioner states he wishes to withdraw the Writ of Habeas Corpus, he states that he is responsible for his wife's death and it was not planned,” according to court file on the hearing.
Deputy District Attorney Max Cardoza -- who prosecuted the original case and was present at the Sept. 11 court appearance -- said the judge declined to deal with the request until Angelel's regular counsel got back into town....
The reasons behind Angelel's two-step toward a confession draw a variety of theories.
(Brad Smith, a former Humboldt County Coroner and Sheriff's evidence technician) said he suspected that Angelel was just tired of dealing with it. It's a sentiment shared by Angelel's stepson, Michael Angelel.
”The best I can figure,” Michael Angelel said in a phone interview with the Times-Standard, “he's either lost it, had some sort of conversion experience or knows he's dying.”...