Bail granted for LA man convicted of killing mom
LOS ANGELES — A man who has spent 26 years behind bars for his mother’s death was granted bail Tuesday, a week after his murder conviction was overturned by a judge due to false evidence.
Bruce Lisker, 44, was ordered released and bail was set at $200,000. Lisker’s attorney anticipates he will be freed within two days after the state processes him.
“He’s elated and ecstatic,” attorney Vicki Podberesky told The Associated Press.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ordered Lisker back to her courtroom on Monday to review the conditions of his release. It wasn’t clear whether prosecutors planned to refile the murder charge. Messages left with the California attorney general’s office and the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office were not immediately returned.
Podberesky said Lisker has trained in prison to become a paralegal and may seek a job in that field after he is freed from the Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, where he has been serving a life sentence.
Lisker was arrested for the March 10, 1983, beating and stabbing death of his mother, Dorka, at her home in Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando Valley.
Lisker, then 17, lived nearby and had a history of drug use and fighting with his mother. He told investigators he returned home, looked through a window and saw his 66-year-old mother lying on the floor. He said he broke into the locked home to help her.
A detective didn’t believe him and he was arrested and charged with her murder. Prosecutors said Lisker couldn’t have seen his mother on the floor from outside the house. They also said he left a bloody shoe print and confessed to a jailhouse informant.
Lisker was convicted by a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury in 1985 and sentenced to 16 years to life in prison. The state Supreme Court rejected an appeal in 2003.
In 2005, the Los Angeles Times published an investigation that questioned Lisker’s guilt and concluded the original investigation was sloppy. The investigation cited a new analysis that concluded the bloody shoe print found at the scene didn’t belong to Lisker.
In March, a U.S. federal magistrate said faulty evidence was used to convict Lisker and that he had received an inadequate defense. The magistrate’s report says the defense attorney failed to introduce trial evidence that cast suspicion on an alternative suspect, a friend of Lisker’s who had a false alibi and a history of violence. That man, Mike Ryan, has since committed suicide.
Last week, Phillips overturned Lisker’s conviction, citing the conclusions of the magistrate’s report.