Man facing life in prison for 1981 rape, murder in Parkmerced

Marc_Smith-Flickr (CC)Annie Barcelon was found under the basement stairs in one of the Parkmerced towers on November

Lance Ford is expected to receive life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced Wednesday for the horrific 1981 rape and murder of 24-year-old Parkmerced resident Annie Barcelon.

Ford was not charged for the crime until 2004, when more advanced DNA testing implicated him. At the time of his arrest, police said, Ford was serving time in an Oregon prison for an unrelated sexual assault conviction. He had been scheduled to be released from prison one week later.

Since then, Ford has been in custody in San Francisco, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said Friday. Last month, a jury convicted him after deliberating for two days.

The heart-wrenching murder happened Nov. 26, 1981, after Barcelon and her roommate drove home to their Parkmerced apartment from a Thanksgiving party. Barcelon let her roommate out of the car to use the bathroom, then went to park. But, police said, she never arrived home.

The roommate notified security when Barcelon didn’t show up right away. Barcelon’s body was found the following day under a stairway in the basement of the building. She had been raped and strangled, according to court testimony.

Initially, police suspected a trespasser who had been caught in the building just before the attack was the culprit. But police said technological advances in DNA analysis needed to happen before the true killer could be found.

In 2004, a DNA profile of Ford was made, police said, and it matched with the evidence provided during an autopsy done by the Medical Examiner’s Office. Also, Ford had reportedly been placed in San Francisco at the time of the killing.

On Sept. 27, Ford was found guilty of first-degree murder. The jury also found him guilty of the special circumstance allegation that the murder was committed during the commission of rape.

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