John Kevin Woodward killed his roommate’s girlfriend Laurie Houts, engineer Adobe

Cindy said, “She hasn’t been here in 30 years, and we miss her even more now.” “Also, we’ve been through two trials before, so we know how hard this one will be. And we hope this one turns out well too.”

At a hearing on Monday in Queens Criminal Court, Mr. Woodward’s lawyer in New York, Todd D. Greenberg, said that Mr. Woodward had agreed to go back to Santa Clara County and was “eager to get to the California courts to answer these charges, which he strongly denies.”

The news of Mr. Woodward’s arrest “shocked us all,” said a statement from his company, which has its headquarters in Oakland, California, and an office in the Netherlands.

It said, “We feel very sorry for the families involved.”

On September 5, 1992, Ms. Houts was found dead in her car near a garbage dump, about a mile from where she worked at Adobe Systems. Still around her neck was the rope that had been used to kill her. The district attorney said that the fact that her footprints were on the inside of the windshield showed that she had been fighting with Woodward.

The statement said that Mr. Woodward was soon thought to be a suspect. Prosecutors said he was “openly jealous” of Ms. Houts because he had grown a “unrequited romantic attachment” to her boyfriend, who was his roommate.

Prosecutors say that when the boyfriend asked Mr. Woodward if he killed Ms. Houts, Mr. Woodward didn’t answer the question. Instead, he “asked what the investigators knew” as the police listened in.

The police said that Mr. Woodward was caught in 1992 and tried twice for the murder.

The Mountain View Police Department said that the first trial ended in 1995 with a “hung jury.” Prosecutors said that the next year, a judge threw out the case because a jury couldn’t decide what to do in a second trial.

In the second trial, the judge said there wasn’t enough proof to show that Mr. Woodward did it out of jealousy, according to The San Jose Mercury News.

Fingerprints of Mr. Woodward were found on the outside of Ms. Houts’ car, but in 1992, prosecutors said they could not prove that he had been inside the car.

Mr. Woodward moved to the Netherlands after the second trial.

Detectives started to look into the case again in 2020 and sent new evidence to the Santa Clara County Crime Lab, the police said.

The police said that a DNA sample from the rope was put through a new process. Jeff Rosen, the district attorney, said that the tests showed that Mr. Woodward’s skin cells were on the rope.

The police said that investigators used new technology to find that fibers from sweatpants in Mr. Woodward’s car were “almost identical” to fibers found on the rope.

In an interview, Mr. Rosen said that the facts “put the rope in his hands.”

More fingerprints that matched Mr. Woodward were found when more than 80 latent fingerprints that were taken at the time of Ms. Houts’ death were looked at again.

Mr. Rosen said, “We don’t forget that murder is very bad and changes the lives of everyone around the victim.” “We didn’t forget about it, and neither did the Mountain View police.”

Mr. Rosen said that Dutch authorities, working with the U.S. Justice Department, had gotten a warrant and searched Mr. Woodward’s home and business in the Netherlands, taking computers and USB drives.

Suzi, Ms. Houts’ older sister, said that her sister, who went to Gunderson High School in San Jose and played basketball, volleyball, and softball and could make 25 free throws in a row, was a “happy, very funny, loving person who treated everyone like family.”

The sisters said that every year on Laurie Houts’ birthday, they shoot free throws in her honor.

Suzi said in an interview, “We are glad to have a chance at some kind of justice.” “We’ve been waiting for 30 years with patience.”

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