News Releases

August 26, 2015: Palmdale Woman Sentenced for Killing Romantic Partner, Framing Victim's Boyfriend

Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A Palmdale woman was sentenced today to two consecutive 25-year-to-life prison terms for shooting a 31-year-old woman who she had a romantic relationship with after meeting her through Craigslist, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Jason Quirino said Larene Eleanor Austin, 33, was found guilty by a jury on Aug. 13 of one count of first-degree murder with a use-of-handgun allegation in case MA051956.

Austin had a brief romantic relationship with the victim, Lanell Barsock. On June 16, 2010, the defendant killed Barsock by shooting her in the head after the victim ended the relationship to focus on her boyfriend, according to court testimony.

Austin attempted to frame the victim’s boyfriend for the killing, going as far as forging a letter in which the victim purportedly broke up with the boyfriend and presenting it to police, according to evidence presented at trial.

The defendant fled the country once officials cleared the man of any involvement in the killing, the prosecutor said. Austin was arrested in Belize in January 2012, the prosecutor added.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.