Man convicted of killing his stepmother in 1986 admits to fatally stabbing retired doctor in El Sereno

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A man who was convicted of killing his stepmother in 1986 admitted to fatally stabbing a retired doctor in El Sereno, officials announced Monday.

Timothy Chavira, 57, pleaded guilty to the murder of Editha Cruz de Leon, along with admitting a special circumstance allegation that he was previously convicted of first-degree murder, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

He was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Chavira killed de Leon, 76, in her El Sereno home along the 3900 block of North Van Horne Avenue on Dec. 7, officials said. An autopsy found de Leon died from “sharp force injuries and strangulation,” records from the county coroner showed.

Chavira was arrested two weeks later in Pasadena, officials said.

“The victim and Chavira had prior contact but there was no type of relationship between them,” DA spokesman Ricardo Santiago said in an email. He added that officials did not know the motive behind the killing.

Chavira was previously found guilty of first-degree murder for beating and stabbing his stepmother to death in 1986. He was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison and was released on parole in 2017.

Victim impact statements are scheduled for July 20 in a downtown courtroom.

De Leon, who migrated from the Philippines with her husband in the 1970s, left behind five children and four grandchildren, according to an online obituary.

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