Local lawyer was set for murder case
She’s never tried a murder case. She’s only been a lawyer since 1998.
But Linda Louder, until last month a Nevada County public defender, was on the case of her career.
She had joined the defense team for Laren Sims Jordan, the woman accused of killing her husband, Sacramento lawyer Larry McNabney, with a horse tranquilizer and burying him in a San Joaquin County vineyard.
But last week, Jordan, her case a nationwide spectacle, hanged herself in a jail medical facility in Brooksville, Fla.
“By the time I agreed, she was gone, without me knowing it,” Louder said Wednesday.
Jordan, 36, was represented in Florida by Tom Hogan. A consultant for his firm is Alan Teegardin, who’s also a longtime friend of Louder’s.
“I think, essentially, we would’ve been a team,” said Louder, who screened several media calls to her Penn Valley-area home Wednesday.
She wouldn’t discuss much of the team’s strategy. It’s a moot point anyway, she said, and the case of Jordan’s co-defendant, 21-year-old Sacramento college student Sarah Dutra, is still pending.
“I had a lot of faith in the case we could’ve built, but I can’t go into that,” Louder said.
She did mention that McNabney’s alleged physical abuse of Jordan would have been a factor.
Jordan and Dutra, former co-workers in McNabney’s firm, are accused of killing McNabney for his money, storing him in a refrigerator and later burying him. He was last seen in September; his body was found in a shallow grave in February.
The women allegedly stole $500,000 of McNabney’s cash before Jordan fled in a rented Jaguar to Florida, where she was arrested last month.
Hogan, who eulogized Jordan at her Wednesday funeral, said he liked Louder’s demeanor, grasp of California criminal procedure and the ideas she contributed early on.
“We’ll never know, but I think she would’ve done a good job,” he said.
Hogan represented Jordan several years earlier in property-crime cases. Her suicide note to Hogan called him “not only … physically beautiful, you are even more stunning on the inside.”
She also asked him to take care of her two teen-age children and suggested suing the jail as a way to provide for them financially.
Louder said she hadn’t met Jordan’s family. She took the case Friday, and Jordan hanged herself Saturday and died Sunday.
“I know the family was grateful I had agreed to take the case,” she said. “The family is having a real hard time with it.”
In November, Louder went on personal leave from the Public Defender’s Office because her grandmother died and her mother turned ill. She resigned last month and plans to start a private practice.
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