General Crime

* Frederick Michael Hertrich Pleads Not Guilty to Alleged 1984 Murder of Lawrence Gill in Robbery

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The suspect of a 1984 murder pleaded not guilty this afternoon in Sonoma County Superior Court.  Frederick Michael Hertrich, 55, of Delaware, is suspected of  killing Lawrence Gill, a clerk at the Adult Bookstore at 3301 Santa Rosa Ave., during a robbery, Chief Deputy District Attorney Diana Gomez said. Hertrich also is charged with use of a firearm. Both Gomez and Sonoma County Public Defender Kathleen Pozzi told Judge Robert LaForge it’s unlikely the case will be settled in early resolution court. LaForge assigned the case to a trial court on April 13 when a preliminary hearing date might be set.

Gill’s relatives declined to comment this afternoon on the arrest of a suspect. Gill’s body was found in the store on May 14, 1984, Sonoma County sheriff’s Lt. Dennis O’Leary said. There were no suspects and the case went cold, O’Leary said. Sheriff’s detectives reopened the unsolved murder case last year when they received new information about Hertrich, O’Leary said. Hertrich also worked at the bookstore before the homicide, but it’s not clear whether he was fired or left voluntarily, O’Leary said.

Detectives obtained a $500,000 arrest warrant for Hertrich on March 20, O’Leary said. Hertrich was taken into custody by Delaware State Police on March 21, O’Leary said. He is being held without bail in Sonoma County Jail.  Sonoma County Superior Court records show that Hertrich was charged with kidnapping, weapons possession and assault on June 9, 1984. The charges are unrelated to the murder, and were dismissed on Dec. 17, 1984, according to court records.

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