Man Charged in Rape-Murder of Long Beach Teen Whose Infant was Left Propped Beside Her

Baby daughter was unharmed in the heinous 1977 attack two days after Christmas. The suspect, an Antioch man, was allegedly linked by "cold case" detectives and new technology.

The rape-murder of a Long Beach teen mother has been solved, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney, which charged a man Friday with a 1977 attack that spared the woman's baby, who was found beside her.

The infant girl, then 13 months old, was unharmed. Her mother, identified in court documents as 17-year-old Shelley H., was raped and died of asphyxiation, D.A. spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons wrote in an e-mail announcing the capture. The teen had also endured superficial stab wounds, the D.A. reported.

Her home had also been burglarized, and that crime coupled with the rape allegation would constitute special circumstances; if found guilty, the special circumstances finding would enable prosecutors to seek the death penalty, the D.A. news release stated.

Updated 8/31/12 with a police press release link below

The murder and other charges were filed Friday against Martell Nathaniel Chubbs, 53, of Antioch. Chubbs was arrested Thursday in Benicia, about a half hour from Antioch, by Long Beach police department.

Chubbs was in court for arraignment Friday afternoon, but the proceeding was moved to Sept. 11 in Department J of Long Beach Superior Court. He will remain held without bail, the D.A.'s office said.

The Long Beach Police Department late Friday said it had no details about Chubbs including an occupation but expected to learn more background about Chubbs next week. A week later, on Aug. 31, this press release was issued.

Detectives arrested Chubbs about 10 a.m. Wednesday, with help from Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office detectives. The Long Beach detectives are part of a cold cases team funded with a grant by the National Institute of Justice.

The D.A.'s Gibbons said slides of bodily fluids taken by the Coroner during the 1977 autopsy "were fed into CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System, which stores DNA information from federal, state and local crime laboratories."


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