Metro

Arraignment for alleged killer of woman canceled

WORCESTER — The arraignment of a Georgia man in a 1974 slaying in Shrewsbury has been canceled, officials said Friday.

Lonzo Guthrie Jr. was facing a first-degree murder charge in the slaying of 21-year-old Eileen Ferro

The hearing was canceled because the judge was slated to attend a judges’ conference, the Worcester district attorney’s office said.

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The victim,was found by her husband, Anthony T. Ferro, then a car salesman, just after 9 p.m. inside the couple's home on Ladyslipper Lane on Feb. 22, 1974. Authorities determined that she had been stabbed and that her throat had been slashed, but that no sexual assault had been committed.

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District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. Early has said that investigators learned in recent months that shortly after Ferro was killed, Guthrie moved to California, where he was convicted of rape in that state later in 1974 and sentenced to 30 years behind bars. Guthrie served less than four years in prison in California, but as a convicted sex offender was required to provide his DNA profile to law enforcement.

Early has said that State Police recently submitted for testing evidence that was collected at the time of the slaying and that blood recovered from the crime scene inside Ferro’s home matched Guthrie's DNA profile.

Guthrie, who is in his late 60s, was located in Douglas County, Ga., where he had been required to register as a sex offender, but had not been the subject of any recent arrests or criminal investigations.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen. John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@
globe.com
. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.