Man Sentenced in 2011 Near-Decapitation Death of Girlfriend at Beverly Hills Apartment

A 59-year-old Los Angeles man has been sentenced for fatally slashing his girlfriend’s throat in her Beverly Hills apartment, where she wrote the defendant’s name in her own blood.

James Duane Grzeslo was sentenced to 26 years to life in state prison in the Oct. 26, 2011, killing, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

He had been found guilty of one count of first-degree murder, using a knife, in August.

The victim, 58-year-old Cathy Ann Carrasco-Zanini, was found at her home in the 100 block of North Hamilton Drive, Beverly Hills police said at that time.

Evidence presented at trial indicated that she wrote Grzeslo’s name in her own blood before dying, the DA’s office said.

Her head had nearly been cut off, a prosecutor told the L.A. Weekly in 2013, when the paper reported on Grzeslo’s multiple past alleged cons, including posing as a surgeon to an ex-wife and friends.

Witnesses testified that the defendant told people that when he was a U.S. Marine, he would kill people by slashing their throats, turning them into “Pez dispensers,” prosecutors said.

Grzeslo was “possessive and jealous of the victim’s friendships,” the DA’s office said in a news release.

He called his anger-management counselor on the day of the murder, telling him thought he had done something wrong, the Weekly reported. His meeting with the counselor led police to the discovery of the victim’s body.

Grzeslo has been in custody since the day of Carrasco-Zanini’s death, inmate records indicate.