SUSANVILLE -- A special prosecutor has been named in the trial of a man charged in the killing of his girlfriend's husband, who was a police officer in Northern California.

The Sacramento Bee reports Monday (http://bit.ly/Xxv2SV ) that the Lassen County Board of Supervisors has approved a contract with Dan Howe to handle prosecution of 49-year-old Robin Glen James.

James is co-defendant in a case that has already seen 39-year-old Joanna Lynn McElrath convicted of the first-degree murder of her estranged husband. She pleaded guilty to premeditated and deliberate murder.

Authorities say the pair drugged 37-year-old Robert McElrath with a prescription narcotic before shooting him with his service weapon. They later dumped his body off a bridge near Susanville, where Robert McElrath was a police officer.

James is scheduled to appear Aug. 15 for a pretrial hearing.

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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com



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