[KHTS] – A Santa Clarita man pleaded not guilty to two murders on Monday at Los Angeles County Superior Court in San Fernando.
Deputy District Attorney Julie Kramer said Lance Holger Anderson, 60, of Canyon Country, could face the death penalty if he is convicted in the double murder of his wife and sister.
“That’s a possible sentence based on his charges,” Kramer said, adding the District Attorney’s Office has a procedure for making such decisions.
An internal committee, which does not include Kramer, evaluates the facts of the case and will make that determination after a preliminary hearing.
His wife, 68-year-old Bertha Maxine Anderson, was found shot in the head where the two reportedly lived together at the 26800 block of Claudette Street.
The other victim of the alleged double murder, Anderson’s sister, Lisa Nave, was found dead around 9: 20 a.m., at a convalescent home Nave lived at.
When relatives learned about the murder, they requested a welfare check at the home the Andersons shared on Claudette.
Bertha Anderson is believed to have been killed Dec. 10, the night before Nave was found dead.
Neighbors reported hearing “two loud booms” that night.
Anderson was arrested near the scene by Los Angeles Police Department. The alleged murder weapon, a Derringer pistol, is believed to have been found outside the home.
Prosecutors revealed in court that Anderson was carrying more than $1,000 in cash with him when he was arrested. Officials have not said why he had the money.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department, according to a District Attorney’s Office statement.
Kramer is assigned to the prosecution of the case.
Detectives are still uncovering information about the circumstances around the crime, she said, including information about the medical records of the victims, which might be pertinent to the prosecution of the case.
The crimes were described as “mercy killings,” by an LAPD commander in a statement shortly after Lance Anderson’s arrest.
Both Bertha Anderson and Nave reportedly were suffering from debilitating medical conditions.
Anderson is being held at Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles without bail. Bail is being withheld because there is a special circumstance, which is the fact that there are multiple victims, Kramer said
Detectives Okada and Cheek are handling the investigation for the Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau.