Leonard Kelly Ferrin, a 23-year-old parolee, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 1989 death of Kymberly Dixon.
According to stories in The Bee, Ferrin told investigators that he was high on cocaine when he shot Dixon, 22, in the back of the head and left her body alongside Power Line Road, just north of Garden Highway.
An off-duty nurse found Dixon unconscious but clinging to life in the early-morning hours of June 17, 1989. She died a few hours later at UC Davis Medical Center.
Ferrin was arrested after being identified by witnesses as the last person to be seen with Dixon. Ferrin reportedly had been looking for Dixon in the days prior to the slaying, telling acquaintances that she had “ripped off” a diamond ring, some cash and a .22-caliber pistol from him.
Ferrin said he and a friend spotted Dixon on Del Paso Boulevard after obtaining some “crank” from a drug connection. He drove her to a rural area where he intended to rough her up a little, but after they got out of the car, Ferrin said, “I turned off the safety (on the murder weapon) and just fired and she fell.”
Ferrin was sentenced to 27 years to life in state prison.
Richard Henry Ulmer Jr., who was originally arrested and charged with Ferrin, was cleared by Ferrin of complicity in the crime and all charges against Ulmer were dismissed.