A prominent former public defender, Marla Zamora, was found stabbed to death in the backyard of her Potrero Hill home Friday, and police already have a prime suspect in custody. As the Chronicle reports, neighbors say Zamora's alleged killer was a man who was found inside the home when police arrived just before 11 a.m., and he was covered in blood. It remains unclear what his relationship to Zamora may have been, however police are saying this was not a random act.
Update: ABC 7 reports that the suspect taken into custody was Zamora's nephew. An anonymous source tells SFist that Zamora's nephew had been living with her. He has not yet been publicly named, but police have confirmed the relation, and that he has been arrested for the crime.
Zamora, 65, spent 29 years in the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, as ABC 7 reports, and was most well known in recent years for defending Edwin Ramos in his 2012 trial for the murder of a father and his two sons in the Mission. The case made national headlines because Ramos mistook one of victim Tony Bologna's sons for a rival gang member, and shot into their car from another car, killing all three.
Zamora's neighbor, who may have been the one who called the police Friday, says he heard screaming and saw Zamora's body in the backyard, according to ABC 7. The murder took place on the 400 block of Arkansas Street.
Current SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi said to the station, "Marla had a heart of gold. She was everything you would want a public defender to be. She fought hard, she had tremendous compassion for her clients, and she handled some of the toughest cases." He added, "For obvious reasons, our office would not be able to represent anyone charged [in this case]. Marla Zamora was one of us."
Zamora is survived by a daughter who lives in Los Angeles.
Update 2: The suspect has been identified as 19-year-old Angelo Zamora, as the Chron reports, and he's being held in custody by the Sheriff's Department while being treated at SF General for an undisclosed medical condition.