Q: There was a young woman named Terah Lawyer. She and her boyfriend were arrested for murder in 2000-2002. What happened to the case?
A: Terah Jeanita Lawyer and Rufus Harty Kelsaw were convicted of murder and kidnapping in the April 2002 death of Miangelo Cordero, whose body was found by the railroad tracks near the Costco parking lot on Exposition Boulevard in Sacramento.
According to Sacramento Superior Court records available online, Lawyer was sentenced in 2004 to 25 years to life in prison, and Kelsaw was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
Lawyer, now 32 years old, is at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla. Kelsaw, 35, is at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City.
Various court records indicate that Kelsaw thought Cordero wanted to take a large platinum chain with diamonds and a medallion that belonged to Kelsaw. Cordero reportedly was kidnapped and killed after Lawyer lured him to a motel.