N.j. Man Indicted In '77 Child Murder

Posted: February 06, 1986

A longtime suspect in the sexual molestation and killing of a South Jersey child in 1977 was indicted for murder yesterday by a Camden County grand jury.

David Stannard, 44, is charged with the slaying of 7-year-old Robert Lee ''Bobby" Almand, of Haddon Township, and with more recent sexual assaults on four other South Jersey boys.

Stannard was arrested in the Almand case in September and has been in prison in lieu of $1 million bail since then.

The killing created a great deal of media attention and public concern. The boy was the object of an all-night search in May 1977. His body was found the next day in a park near his home. An autopsy showed the death was caused by blows to the head with some sort of club.

At the time of the slaying, Stannard, a Gloucester City house painter, was awaiting trial on morals charges involving seven boys he had lured into his apartment.

He was named as a material witness in the Almand killing but was never charged. Police said Stannard had a good alibi for his whereabouts at the time of the killing.

Convicted of molesting the boys in Gloucester, Stannard spent five years of a 25-year sentence at a state facility for sex offenders and was released as ''cured" in October 1983.

Members of the Almand family, convinced that Stannard was responsible for Bobby's death, publicly protested his early release.

Stannard moved to Camden, where police kept him under periodic watch. The indictment charges him with sexual assault on four other children, ages seven to 15, in 1985.

He allegedly lured the boys into sexual activity by hiring them for small jobs such as lawn-mowing and painting, said assistant Camden County Prosecutor Dennis Wixted.

Wixted said the charges in the nine-year-old murder grew out of incriminating statements Stannard allegedly made to a child and a adult, and

because of new scientific evidence. Also, "We have broken down his alibi pretty well," Wixted said.

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