Local News

Teen Found Guilty of Murdering Mother, Stepfather

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Facebook photo of couple accused in double murder.

COMPTON, Calif. — A 16-year-old Compton girl was convicted Friday of the first-degree murders of her mother and stepfather in the family’s mobile home in 2011.

Cynthia Alvarez, who was 15 at the time of the slayings, was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder.

The jury also convicted her of  the special circumstances of lying in wait and multiple murders, Deputy District Attorney Kristin Trutanich said.

Alvarez faces 51 years to life in prison when she is sentenced June 21.

Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty because of her age at the time of the killing.

A separate trial for Alvarez’s boyfriend, now 18-year-old Giovanni Gallardo, is set to begin Monday in Compton.

Both were charged with killing Gloria Villalta, 58, and Jose Lara, 51. sometime between Oct. 13 and Oct. 15, 2011.

Prosecutors accused the pair of strangling Villalta shortly after she arrived home from work.

They hid her body in a storage room and waited for Alvarez’s stepfather.

When he arrived, he was beaten with a baseball bat and stabbed 11 times until he died, Trutanich said.

During her trial, Alvarez took the stand in her own defense and admitted that she and Gallardo went shopping for Halloween party supplies while her mother’s body was in the back of the vehicle they were using.

The teens then allegedly loaded both bodies in a car and dumped them in shallow graves in separate areas.

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