More than a decade after abducting, raping and killing a teen girl and a young woman, 38-year-old Giovanni Borjas was sentenced to life in prison Monday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.
Borjas appeared emotionless as the judge read his sentence, proclaiming that the 38-year-old will spend his life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The verdict brought one level of closure for the families of the girls he murdered.
“This is just a chapter that is going to close right now, and I can begin my grieving because I was on a mission. I was on a mission. I’m the mother who needed to know who hurt my daughter,” Darlene Duran, the mother of one of the victims, Bree’Anna Guzman, told KTLA’s Chris Wolfe.
Guzman was just 22 years old, a young mother of two girls, when she stepped out to buy cough drops in Dec. 2011, and never returned home.
Her remains were discovered in Silver Lake near an on ramp to the 2 Freeway.
Detectives would eventually link Guzman’s case to 17-year-old Michelle Lozano, whose body was found wrapped in plastic bags and stuffed inside a container near the 5 Freeway in Boyle Heights, just a day after her disappearance in April 2011. She had been strangled to death.
Borjas pleaded no contest, acknowledging that there was strong evidence against him in the murders.
Authorities said that DNA samples tied the 38-year-old to the crimes, including kidnapping.
“He really is a monster and throughout the whole trial, court, he showed no remorse,” Rachel Duran, Guzman’s sister, told KTLA.
Prosecutors were originally seeking the death penalty, though some reports suggest that option was dismissed by L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón.
“I do agree that Giovanni Borjas should have received the death penalty,” Darlene Duran said.
Borjas was arrested in 2017, but his trial was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Note: a previous video report for this story included incorrect photos of Michelle Lozano. We apologize for this error.