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Man Who Slept With Girlfriend’s Corpse Found Guilty of Murder, Whooping Cough Numbers Spike; Musician Wins Grammy

Also, Fitzgerald Marine Reserve cypress forest to be thinned, motorcyclist hospitalized after collision with deer, Netflix takes office park to the ballot.

John Clauer, left; Heather Stearns photo from Facebook site: For the Love of Heather Stearns
John Clauer, left; Heather Stearns photo from Facebook site: For the Love of Heather Stearns
—Written by Genevieve Bookwalter

Welcome to Monday’s Northern California Patch roundup!

The big news today comes from Santa Cruz Patch, where a man was found guilty of murder after prosecutors alleged he killed his girlfriend and then slept with her corpse for two weeks. From the story:

“After three weeks of trial, Vietnam veteran John Clauer, 66, was found guilty Monday of murdering his alcoholic girlfriend, Heather Stearns, 30, two years ago in their East Cliff Drive apartment.”

“In a particularly gruesome case, Clauer kept Stearns's body in his bed for two and a half weeks until neighbors complained about the terrible smell and went inside and found the body.”

“Neighbors said they heard a faint cry for help and sounds of a struggle and stomping from the apartment, but didn't call police. They said fights and shouting were typical from the couple. Prosecutor Jeff Rosell said Clauer supplied alcohol in return for sex from Stearns and killed her after a car he had put in her name was towed away.”

“Defense attorney Zach Schwartzbach argued that DNA found under Stearn's fingernail pointed to another killer.”

“Moments after the verdict was announced by the eight-woman, four-man jury, Stearn's mother posted a plea on a Facebook site called For the Love of Heather Stearns to the community to report crimes they suspect and lamented that no one came out to support Stearns.”

More top Northern California Patch headlines include:


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