In crime, it's rare when the detective becomes the murderer.

But it happened to Stephanie Lazarus, a beloved LAPD art-crime investigator who, it turned out, murdered the wife of her ex-boyfriend in jealous rage in 1986 and lived with the crime until DNA connected her to the slaying in 2009.

Today Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry sentenced the ex-cop to …

… 27 years to life in prison for first-degree murder.

However, this ain't over yet. Lazarus' attorney immediately said she would appeal in the case of 29-year-old Sherri Rasmussen's death.

She was shot three times in her Van Nuys condo. Her undoing, it seems, was marrying Lazarus' ex-boyfriend, John Ruetten, three months before the attack. He told the court:

The fact that Sherri's death occurred because she met and married me brings me to my knees. I do not know, I'm sure I will (never) know how to cope with this appalling fact. I have resigned myself to praying for some measure of peace by trying to endure the daydreams about a world where Sherri is still with us.

Strangely, not long before her arrest, Lazarus was featured in LA Weekly's 2009 People issue, posing with the beloved artwork she was sworn to protect.

Credit: Kevin Scanlon

Credit: Kevin Scanlon

[With reporting from City News Service / @dennisjromero / / @LAWeeklyNews]

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