In the Pasadena Courthouse This Week

Published : Monday, March 18, 2019 | 4:49 AM

This week, one high-profile Pasadena criminal cases will move forward in Pasadena Courthouse of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Here’s an update and profile of this case.
Preliminary Hearing Setting for Lance Anthony Semkus, March 20

Lance Anthony Semkus, 74, of Pasadena, is charged with one felony count each of willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder, mayhem, attempted second-degree robbery and two counts of cruelty to an animal.

He is also facing charges which include allegations of great bodily injury and use of a knife.

On January 4, 2018, Semkus pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On October 23, 2017, Semkus allegedly attempted to drag a 19-year-old Pasadena woman and her dog into his vehicle in front of a pet store in the 3300 block of Sierra Madre Villa Avenue. Passersby saw what was happening and came to her aid. The suspect fled in a black SUV.

About an hour and a half later, Semkus reportedly approached a 26-year-old Winnetka woman and slashed her throat with a knife outside of a strip mall in the 600 block of South Arroyo Parkway. She screamed and fought Semkus off, but suffered severe injuries to her hand and neck.

The suspect fled in an SUV and was tracked by the Pasadena police helicopter in the area of Fair Oaks Avenue near California Blvd. Officers conducted a traffic stop and arrested him.

The woman was taken to a local hospital.

Semkus, said to be a Vietnam veteran who once served in the Burbank Police Department, is being held in lieu of $10 million bail. He faces a possible maximum sentence of more than 32 years to life in state prison if convicted.

Los County Deputy District Attorney Ryan Erlich is prosecuting.


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