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Natalie Wood Investigation

Exercise in Futility

11/22/2011 6:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Natalie Wood & Robert Wagner

Sources in the L.A. County District Attorney's Office are scratching their heads over the Natalie Wood death investigation, because they say there's no way the D.A. is going to prosecute Robert Wagner or anyone else.

Although the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. says Robert Wagner is not a suspect, it's pretty clear -- as the last person to see Natalie Wood alive --  he's the target of the probe. 

Under California law, even if Wagner accidentally pushed Natalie into the dark water ... the most he could be charged with is involuntary manslaughter.  But here's the problem -- there's a statute of limitations of 3 years for that crime, so prosecutors would have had to file charges 27 years ago.   Ditto voluntary manslaughter, which has a statute of limitations of 3 years.

The only crime for which anyone could be prosecuted is first degree murder, because there's no statute of limitations.   Remember, there are no possible witnesses other than Robert Wagner.  Short of a bizarre confession, D.A. sources say there's no chance of a prosecution.  BTW, there's a 6-year statute of limitations on second degree murder.

As for why the Sheriff is investigating the death ... one D.A. source said, "It's an exercise in futility.  I just don't get it."

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108 COMMENTS

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31.

bunny    

If they want to let people get away with murder, why are they putting money into an investigation? For peace of mind?

1015 days ago
32.

Joey    

Morons run L.A. county on every level. Why would they want to expend resources on the thousand unsolved murders on the books when they can grandstand on this absurd goosechase? I genuinely hate the current government at level in the Golden State.

1015 days ago
33.

James    

I never thought anything would come of this.

1015 days ago
34.

LaPhotographer    

there is NO statute of limitations on 2nd degree murder. The article is flat out wrong.
Crimes such as murder in the first, second, or third degree; manslaughter; vehicular homicide; felonies that occur in conjunction with first or second degree murder; or any conspiracy to commit murder have NO statute of limitation.

1015 days ago
35.

Stupid People Hater    

Basically all this Natalie Wood crap we are reading about is to drum up free advertising for the episode of CSI Robert is going to be in.

1015 days ago
36.

anne10    

This entire story is another example of crap journalism and individuals looking for their 15 minutes. Don't the police have enough to do without dredging up cold cases that are for no purpose other than getting the accusers publicity? The tabloids in this country should be investigated by the legal system just as the ones in Britain are right now.

1015 days ago
37.

the artist formerly known as hand turkey    

That was obvious from the re-opening of this whole thing.

You need solid evidence to convict a person. The testimony of drunks doesn't work, speculation doesn't either. Ask all the why this and why that questions you want, unanswered questions aren't evidence. Even if the woman who claims she heard cries, really did, that isn't enough.

I'm betting that if the captain really had something solid to contribute to the case, that he's been hiding, he would keep hiding it, because it would make him an accomplice.

1015 days ago
38.

Sonja    

I think Spectrabei's take is right on! At some point she threw on her coat to go demand that the captain turn the boat around and take her back to land. It's not a big boat especially when you are fighting with your drunk abusive husband. He probably grabbed her and tried to force her back in the cabin, she fought back and over she goes. I agree with everyone that killing someone, be it involutary manslaughter or first degree murder should have NO limitations on investigating even if there are limits on the charges... you took a life, it should be investigated and the crime solved. Not for the state, not for the DA but for the victim and their family.

1015 days ago
39.

InThenNameOfJustice    

How about reopening the case just to set the record straight and to expose those who should have taken responsibility at the time of her death? How about her family? How about those who have gone on to live their lives, knowing what really happened, and getting away with it?

1015 days ago
40.

anony    

This whole thing only started because of that woman and her stupid book.
She's trying to sell books!
This is a massive waste of everyone's time.

1015 days ago
41.

Liz    

I hate to say it but because of who he is, he can probably get away with it. If he did do it. It sounds like he SHOULD be a suspect

1015 days ago
42.

Seriously    

OK, it is very strange that Stefanie Powers husband died in the SAME month that Natalie Wood died! Nov 12 for him and then Natalie Wood “accidentally" drowns? Then RJ and SP "conveniently" get together when it was always rumored that they were already together. Hmmmmmm very SUSPECT.

1015 days ago
43.

Jimmie Slooth    

Oh yes there is much room for investigation. If nothing else proof of the utter negligemc and/or conspiricy of the so called " police investigation" should come to light. Hey Jurries are now convicting absent even a body. Go for it for there can be no question of a crime and yes, perhaps murder.

1015 days ago
44.

Cleveland Gal    

Just another example of celebrity justice in LA, they make a mockery of the justice system and the world is laughing at them. I think it is time that all the current judges be voted out and new ones be brought in so there will be some justice in that town it is seriously pathetic!

1015 days ago
45.

A. Conda    

Why has this come up now? This is about making money.

1015 days ago
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