Man ordered to stand trial in 1986 Salt Lake slaying

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A man charged in the 1986 slaying of a Salt Lake City woman has been ordered to stand trial.

Thomas Pennington, 46, will be arraigned Friday in 3rd District Court on a single charge of murder in connection with the death of his 20-year-old girlfriend Patricia Ramirez.

Pennington is accused of killing Ramirez and then dumping her body on a hillside in Memory Grove more than 25 years ago. Her body was found July 13, 1986.

Pennington was charged in June 2011 with strangling the 20-year-old woman.

Judge Robin Reese heard testimony against Pennington earlier this year during a preliminary hearing. After taking the matter under advisement, Reese ruled there was enough evidence to order Pennington to stand trial.

New witness testimony led to Pennington's arrest, officials said.

At the time charges were filed, Pennington was serving a prison sentence in Missouri for child molestation and failing to register as a sex offender.