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Niece arrested in killing of LAPD officer's elderly mother

The South L.A. home where 79-year-old Cleo Hughes, the mother of an LAPD officer, was found shot to death on Sunday, June 3, 2012.
The South L.A. home where 79-year-old Cleo Hughes, the mother of an LAPD officer, was found shot to death on Sunday, June 3, 2012. KNBC

Police say the 79-year-old mother of a South Los Angeles police officer was murdered by her niece. L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck announced the arrest of Barbara Jean Davenport, 60, for homicide on Thursday afternoon. He said the motive for the murder was robbery and that the suspect, Davenport, has a mild criminal background, but nothing that would have indicated her allegedly capable of such violence.

Cleo Hughes was found dead in her West 66th Street apartment on June 3 by her son, Chris Hughes, an LAPD officer who was checking on his mother because she wasn't answering her phone.

Immediately after the crime, police thought that Hughes might have been targeted for having law enforcement in her family. Now they believe it was Hughes' niece who committed the crime. Police say DNA evidence was key to identifying the suspect, also indicating that items had been stolen from Hughes' home. Davenport is being held on $1 million bail. 

Beck said that he was saddened by the event, but proud that officers had been able to make an arrest. 

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