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The Latest: Well-known lawyer defends teen in track attack

Don Hines pauses as he talks about the death of his neighbor, Fusako Petrus, Friday, April 28, 2017, in North Highlands, Calif. Petrus, 86, was sexually assaulted and beaten to death during a morning walk around the track with a friend, Wednesday. Neven Glen Butler, 18, was arrested that afternoon on unrelated sexual assault and elder abuse charges and homicide detectives were able to tie him to the scene of the assault on Petrus. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

NORTH HIGHLANDS, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the slaying of an 86-year-old California woman (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

A high-profile defense attorney has taken the case of a teenager accused of killing an 86-year-old woman who was out for her morning walk on a high school track in California.

Linda Parisi, well-known in the Sacramento area, said she just got the case and doesn’t have a lot of details, but it’s “a lot more complicated than it appears.”

Eighteen-year-old Neven Glen Butler is jailed on suspicion of murder in the beating death of Fusako Petrus on Wednesday.

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6:30 p.m.

Friends recall the suspect in this week’s assaults on two elderly California women as a class clown.

School officials in suburban Sacramento said Friday that 18-year-old Neven Glen Butler was a football player at the high school where he is accused of fatally beating 86-year-old Fusako Petrus. She died defending a younger friend from a sexual assault on Wednesday.

Butler also is charged with assaulting a 92-year-old woman later the same day.

His lawyer, Linda Parisi, did not return telephone and emailed messages Friday.

Officials say he played on the Highlands High School football team in 2015. He later dropped out of school.

Former schoolmate Robert Hills tells The Sacramento Bee (http://bit.ly/2qfAFau ) that he’s known Butler since the fourth grade. He says Butler was known as a class clown who didn’t take his studies seriously.

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3:30 p.m.

Investigators and friends are recalling an 86-year-old California woman as a hero who died trying to help a friend during a morning walk.

Authorities said Friday that a young man was arrested in the sexual assault and beating death of Fusako Petrus. Neven Glen Butler, 18, was named as the suspect after his detention in a separate attack.

Detectives tied Butler to the assaults on Petrus and a 61-year-old friend earlier Wednesday.

Sacramento sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull says Petrus came back to help her friend, who was the initial target of a sexual assault. She tried to fend off the attacker with her walking stick.

Petrus’ friend was treated for injuries.

Dolores Hines lives near Petrus. She says Petrus gave her life to save her friend.

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10:45 a.m.

Authorities have arrested an 18-year-old man accused in the death of an 86-year-old California woman who was sexually assaulted and beaten during a morning walk.

Sacramento Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull on Friday identified the suspect arrested as Neven Glen Butler.

He became a suspect in the slaying of 86-year-old Fusako Petrus after his arrest on unrelated assault and elder abuse charges stemming a separate attack on Wednesday. That’s the same day Petrus died.

Turnbull says homicide detectives tied Butler to the scene of the earlier sexual assaults of Petrus and a 61-year-old friend.

He says Butler is being held on suspicion of murder.

He is set to be arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court on Monday.

Turnbull says Petrus was killed after she tried to help her friend who was the initial target of the attack.

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This version corrects that the suspect’s last name is Butler, not Butle.

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8:25 a.m.

An 86-year-old California woman who was sexually assaulted and beaten to death during a morning walk around a high school track hit the attacker with her walking stick to try to fend off the man.

Authorities say Fusako Petrus was killed when she came to the aid of a 61-year-old friend who was the initial target of the attack Wednesday as they exercised on the track near Sacramento.

KCRA reports (http://bit.ly/2ppl2dB ) that family friend Vicki Butler says the man was choking the younger woman when Fusako started hitting him with her walking stick. This allowed the friend to get away.

Police say a man was arrested later Wednesday in connection with a separate assault several miles away. Investigators say he is a person of interest in the homicide, but he has not been charged.

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