Man Who Slept With Girlfriend’s Corpse Found Guilty of Murder; Cypress Forest to be ‘Thinned’

Plus, motorcyclist hospitalized after collision with deer; Netflix takes office park to the ballot.

Dozens of cypress trees are schedules to be cut down in this Preserve. (Photo: Patch Archive)
Dozens of cypress trees are schedules to be cut down in this Preserve. (Photo: Patch Archive)

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 killing his girlfriend and sleeping 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:

County Parks to 'Thin' Cypress Forest at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

Motorcyclist Hospitalized After Collision with Deer

UPDATE: Masseur Says He Knew Having Sex With Client Would Cost Him His Job

Los Gatos' Albright Way/Netflix Office Park Initiative Qualifies For June Ballot

Twin Brothers Suspects In Fatal Stabbing

CHS Classmates Say Bomb-Building Suspect Was 'Weird' and 'Quiet'




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