Man Pleads Not Guilty in 82-Year-Old Woman's Slaying

LOS ANGELES -- A man arrested last month on the basis of DNA evidence pleaded not guilty Thursday to the strangulation murder of an 82-year-old woman in her South Los Angeles home 19 years ago.

Isidro Ponce, 48, is accused in the slaying of Alma Harvey, who was found dead on Feb. 26, 1990, in her home in the 800 block of East 32nd Street.

The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a rape, which could make him eligible for a death sentence.

Ponce was taken into custody on Jan. 6 at a home in the southeast area of Los Angeles after a "cold hit" notification was made following his arrest on an unrelated matter in which a DNA sample was taken from him, police said.

Harvey had been in declining health and was confined to her home when the attack occurred.

Ponce remains jailed without bail pending his next court appearance April 2 at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse.

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