Las Vegas Sun

July 22, 2014

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Pilot injured in crash that killed wife is former prosecutor

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The pilot injured in a Northern California plane crash that killed his wife is a former Orange County lawyer who successfully prosecuted the notorious 1970s serial killer Rodney Alcala.

Richard Farnell is recovering in a Reno, Nev., hospital from injuries sustained in Monday's crash of a single-engine plane near the Truckee Tahoe Airport.

His wife, 55-year-old Darla Farnell, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Orange County Register reported Wednesday that the 71-year-old Farnell was a deputy district attorney from 1968 to 1981. He prosecuted Alcala among dozens of other criminals before starting a private practice in Newport Beach.

The Piper PA-46 Malibu took off from Santa Ana's John Wayne Airport. It went down in a rugged area about 6 miles southeast of the Truckee airport.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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