A 60-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing a woman in front of her two young sons at their South Los Angeles home more than 40 years ago pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a capital murder charge.

Superior Court Judge Teresa Sullivan ordered Kenneth Ray Matthews — also known as Kenneth Ray Boone — to be held without bail while awaiting his next court appearance on July 9. At that proceeding, a date is scheduled to be set for a preliminary hearing that will determine if there is sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial for the Dec. 6, 1977, killing of Leona Davis.

The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegations of murder during the commission of a rape and murder during the commission of a robbery.

Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty against Matthews, who was arrested April 24 by detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery Homicide-Division.

The 25-year-old woman was attacked at her home in the 8700 block of Menlo Avenue just after putting her 4- and 7-year-old sons to bed. After raping her and stabbing her in the neck, Davis’ attacker stole items from the house and ran off.

“This case was solved by a fingerprint,” Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee said in court last month.

The fingerprint was found during the original examination of the crime scene, but it wasn’t until later that Matthews’ prints appeared in a national database, the prosecutor said.

DNA evidence that also allegedly ties Matthews to the crime was collected as part of “investigatory follow-up,” Hanisee said.

Matthews — who was 18 at the time of the crime — was initially charged last month with forcible rape and attempted first-degree residential robbery, along with the murder count, but the rape and robbery charges were subsequently dismissed because they fell outside the statute of limitations, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

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