Woman stabbed at SF home was longtime defense attorney

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Saturday, May 7, 2016
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A prominent San Francisco attorney who worked for the city's public defender's office for 29 years was killed at her own home in Potrero Hill.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A prominent San Francisco attorney was killed at her own home. Marla Zamora worked for the city's public defender's office for 29 years. Officials say a man found at the crime scene is being questioned.

Flowers lie on the sidewalk outside Zamora's home. The longtime former longtime public defender was stabbed to death Friday morning.

"Poor Marla," said neighbor Richard Shapiro. "I can't believe it. I've known her since she moved in when these places were built in the 80s."

Neighbors watch investigators walk in and out of the building on Arkansas Street.

"It's insane when this kind of thing is right across the street," said Shapiro.

The next door neighbor did not want to be on camera, but told us he heard yelling and saw Zamora bloody in her backyard.

A man inside the home was detained.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi says he's in shock.

"Marla had a heart of gold," he said. "She was everything you would want a public defender to be. She fought hard, she had tremendous compassion for her clients, and she handled some of the toughest cases."

This includes defending Edwin Ramos, who was sentenced to life in prison for the triple murder of a man and his two sons. Ramos had mistaken them as rival gang members.

Police have not released information about the suspect.

But if the public defender's office is asked to represent that person Adachi says, "For obvious reasons, our office would not be able to represent anyone charged. Marla Zamora was one of us."

For that reason, whoever is accused of this murder would have to hire a private attorney.