Man re-arrested in connection to 31-year-old cold case pleads not guilty to murder charge
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A 52-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing an acquaintance whose body turned up in an East County field nearly 31 years ago pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a murder charge.
Stacy Rafel Littleton of San Diego was ordered held on $1 million bail. He was re-booked on the murder charge Monday, shortly after being arrested in La Mesa for alleged drug offenses, according to sheriff’s officials.
Littleton is suspected of murdering 20-year-old Cyrus Jefferson, who was found dead in an empty lot in the 2500 block of 69th Street in Lemon Grove on Oct. 11, 1986, homicide Lt. Kenneth Nelson said.
Investigators determined that Littleton and Jefferson had been together that day, driving around in the victim’s car, according to Nelson. Authorities later tracked down the vehicle in the East County, he said.
Detectives soon arrested Littleton on suspicion of killing Jefferson, but the county District Attorney’s Office ultimately declined to file charges against him, citing insufficient evidence. Recently, sheriff’s cold-case investigators reopened the case.
A detective came across a black glove among the evidence in the case and DNA found on that glove was matched to Littleton, authorities said. A motive for the killing was not clear.
Judge Lantz Lewis scheduled a status conference for June 21.